Groceries or healthcare? 1 in 5 Dutchies avoids seeing a doctor due to high costs

Dutch healthcare patients are struggling to pay their health bills, and this is often coming at the expense of other basic needs. But the Dutch Patient Federation is fighting for a change.

The Dutch Patient Federation gathered the 10,056 members of their Care Panel to answer the question: can you afford Dutch healthcare?

Surprisingly, it turns out that 21% of Dutch people can’t.

Medical treatment has become a luxury 

Most people in the Netherlands who avoid treatment mostly do so when it comes to oral care and physiotherapy. And not only are they not getting health treatment, but those avoiding it also reported higher stress, anxiety, or being less mobile.

READ MORE | All you need to know about healthcare allowance in the Netherlands [2023]

“You regularly hear from dentists that poor oral care affects the rest of your health. (…) Dental care has become a luxury”, Dianda Veldman, director of the Patient Federation of the Netherlands, tells AD

Sacrificing other basic needs

People with chronic illnesses really see the consequences of expensive healthcare: they sometimes have to save on their heating and food, just in order to afford a visit to the doctor’s. 

Are we the only ones who think this is heel contradicting? People have to eat less and live in a colder home — both of which are detrimental to people’s health — just so that they can get their health treatment.

Excuse us, we’ll be screaming into a pillow for the next four hours. 

Time for a change

So let’s get this straight: Dutch healthcare is so expensive that rather than helping people, it’s adding to their issues? Less heating, less food, less social interaction, and worse mental health? Now, that’s just not right. 

But luckily, we are not alone in our fury. The Patient Federation is fighting for more affordable healthcare with a list of demands for the Dutch government.

READ MORE | Mental healthcare in the Netherlands: all you need to know for 2023 

Among other things, they’re asking for a significantly reduced deductible, dental care to be partly reimbursed in basic insurance (again), and for people to have easier access to physiotherapy.

What is your experience with Dutch healthcare? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Julia de Oliveira Moritz
Julia de Oliveira Moritz
Júlia was born in Brazil, but she’s been away for more than half her life. At five years old, she moved to Nigeria, and at 14, she came to the Netherlands. She came for her education and stayed for… something. She’s not sure if that something is the vibrant springtime or the live music bars. All she knows is that this is her new home, at least for now.


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