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‘Shocking’ funding shortage puts public health care in jeopardy: report

A coronavirus testing station at the RAI in Amsterdam. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The government’s health advisory body Raad voor Volksgezondheid & Samenleving (RVS) says the coronavirus crisis shows that the Dutch health board is underfunded and reaching a breaking point. report Published on Tuesday.

RVS scathingly criticizes past and present public health policies as “haphazard, piecemeal, short-term and underinvested.”

Health disparities are high, with half the population suffering from one or more chronic diseases, according to the report. At the same time, life expectancy plummeted from the top to the European average.

“We were on the front line, but we’re steadily going downhill,” said RVS chairman Jet Bussemaker. NRC.

The Dutch Public Health Agency (GGD) is responsible for immunization, youth care, infectious disease control and assessing health risks from contaminated water, etc. But he said RVS could not do this without the added burden of the pandemic due to “dire” funding and manpower shortages.

The Netherlands spent just €2.8bn on public health and €97bn on regular health care in 2019, making it “surprisingly little to spend on public health”. Some Congressional-funded health boards struggle each year to get adequate funding. RVS said it was “on the brink of collapse”.

The lack of investment in public health may be because it is “unattractive,” Bussemakers said, citing the difference in status of doctors and medical professionals on health boards. The work the commission does is also not very visible to people, she said.

RVS recommendations to strengthen the “narrow and fragile base” of public health include increasing budgets and enacting public health goals such as increasing life expectancy. This will be overseen by a designated government official in charge of the “Public Health Delta Plan”.

Staffing is a challenge, according to the RVS, but increasing the local visibility of health boards, for example by housing them in local surgeries, and a more coordinated effort by the central government could help.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/04/shocking-underfunding-is-putting-public-healthcare-at-risk-report/ ‘Shocking’ funding shortage puts public health care in jeopardy: report

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