Research Research themes Infectious diseases and global health Reimbursement decisions in the Netherlands – a citizen panel

Decisions regarding the public reimbursement of medical treatments, including antibiotics, are a hot topic, both nationally and internationally. Citizens regularly express their discontent with decisions not to reimburse particular treatments. Continuing innovation and new medical-technical possibilities are conflicting with limited budgets. Governments are required to make well-considered choices about which medical treatements will be reimbursed. Moreover, it is important to know how Dutch citizens think about these choices. However, citizens are currently not consulted directly, although they are the end-users and payers of the publicly reimbursed healthcare. Therefore, in the autumn of 2017 a Dutch citizen panel (with 24 individuals) on ‘reimbursement decisions in healthcare’ was organized, with the purpose to improve decision-making in healthcare, based on the values and considerations of citizens. The citizen panel (‘Burgerforum Keuzes in de Zorg’ was organized by a project group, consisting of researchers from the Radboudumc, Erasmus University and Radboud University, with support from the Dutch National Healthcare Institute (ZiNL).
Recently, the results have been presented in the form of a manifesto, supported by a broader report that aims to advice ZiNL, the advisory body to the Ministry of Health on the content of the Dutch mandatory basic healthcare insurance scheme. As such, results of this research project will have direct consequences for all Dutch citizens. Also, the results were presented in June 2018 during the Permanent Commission on healthcare in the house of representatives and offered to the minister of Health, Welfare and Sport.