Health technology assessment in The Netherlands.

TitleHealth technology assessment in The Netherlands.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsBos M
JournalInternational journal of technology assessment in health care
Date Published2000 Spring
KeywordsCommunity Health Planning; Delivery of health Care; Facility Regulation and Control; National Health Programs; Netherlands; Public Health Administration; Technology Assessment, Biomedical
AbstractThe Dutch healthcare system is not a single overall plan, but has evolved from a constantly changing mix of institutions, regulations, and responsibilities. The resulting system provides high-quality care with reasonable efficiency and equal distribution over the population. Every Dutch citizen is entitled to health care. Health insurance is provided by a mix of compulsory national insurance and public and private insurance schemes. Hospitals generally have a private legal basis but are heavily regulated. Supraregional planning of high-tech medical services is also regulated. Hospitals function under fixed, prospective budgets with regulation of capital investments. Independent general practitioners serve a gatekeeper role for specialist and hospital services and are paid by capitation or fee for service. Specialists are paid by fee for service. All physicians' fees are controlled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Coverage of benefits is an important method of controlling the cost of services. There is increasing concern about health care quality. Health technology assessment (HTA) has become increasingly visible during the last 15 years. A special national fund for HTA, set up in 1988, has led to many formal and informal changes. HTA has evolved from a research activity into policy research for improving health care on the national level. In 1993 the government stated formally that enhancing effectiveness in health care was one of its prime targets and that HTA would be a prime tool for this purpose. The most important current issue is coordination of HTA activities, which is now undertaken by a new platform representing the important actors in health care and HTA.
Alternate JournalInt J Technol Assess Health Care