29 May 2019

This special issue of Health Policy is entirely dedicated to the Netherlands. The Dutch health system makes an interesting case study for those interested in large-scale reform trajectories as well those interested in practical, innovative and market-based solutions. Patrick Jeurissen played the role of editor in this edition.

Our healthcare system has undergone three major healthcare reforms over the past decade. These reforms fundamentally altered the organization of curative care insurance (2006), transferred social care to the municipalities (2007 and 2015), and created a separate scheme for intensive long-term care (2015). All reforms have been demanding on involved stakeholders. Although its performance seems to have held up nicely, and its system of regulated competition for curative care meets many of its theoretical assumptions, the articles in this special issue show that it is still work in progress.
The 'limited' trust of citizens and providers in insurance companies is one issue, and might hamper active purchasing on quality of care – although this issue also presents some promising approaches. Also the importance of active purchasing might be overemphasized in relation to other determinants that can increase value such as innovation and quality improvement efforts by the medical professions. This special issue contains articles on the future of healthcare, using client voices for the tasks of the inspectorate, trust (in insurers), strategies for health care purchasing, innovation by hospitals and reform of the long-term care.
Patrick Jeurissen and Ewout van Ginneken, ‘The Dutch health system in 2019: Many major reforms, but still work in progress’, Health Policy, Volume 123, Pages 249-251.

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