At least 85 large healthcare companies have been making an unusually high profit for the last two years, research by the Pointer, Reporter Radio and Follow the Money journalism platforms reveals. “Double digit profits are never necessary,” the Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport, Hugo de Jonge, says. 

10 percent profit margins reported

The research was derived from digitised annual accounts held by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. This information is public, and details information about companies involved in mental health care, care for the disabled, and home care. In the healthcare sector, profit rates of 2 to 3 percent are common. However, the data survey showed that at least 85 healthcare companies had achieved a profit margin of more than 10 percent for at least two years in a row.

Minister: “Money for care is meant for care.”

Minister de Jonge said in a statement that “there is nothing wrong with profit in itself”, but that in his opinion, it is not possible to give good care while also managing to make so much money. “Money for care is meant for care and must be only be spent on healthcare. Care is serving and not earning.”

Some companies have reported profit margins of over 50 percent.

Health insurance premiums have risen

On 18 September this year, the Dutch government presented its budget. What does that have to do with this? Well, the budget revealed that health insurance premiums were rising again, with most people expecting a 10 euro increase per month, on average. And although there are good reasons for this to happen, such as economic growth and an overestimation last year, seeing these huge profit margins calls into question where the money is going.

Two companies have 50 percent profit margins

The three journalistic platforms only looked at the 1,308 largest of the 3,798 healthcare institutions in total. Of these, seven companies have recorded profit percentages above 40 percent and two of them are even above 50 percent. Moreover, as some companies have not yet filed their financial figures for 2018, the final list of those with unusually high profit margins may end up being even higher.

“The current law is not enough to keep the rotten apples out of the basket. So we will adjust that,” says De Jonge.

What do you think about healthcare companies making big profits? How does it work in the country you’re from? Let us know in the comments below!

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Feature Image: Pan American Health Organization/flickr. 

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