Opinion: Rescue plan

POSTED: 12/2/13 2:39 PM

Here is an interesting checklist for our healthcare system and for our decision makers that must make sure that the system remains affordable. Psychological disorders gobble up more money than any other disease in the Netherlands. In 2011 this was €19.6 billion, almost $26.5 billion. This number represents 22 percent of all expenditures for healthcare in the Netherlands, the national institute for public health and environment RIVM reported based on in-house research. A distant second are cardiovascular diseases with 8.3 billion, or around $11.2 billion.

All in all the country spent €89 billion ($120 billion) in 2011 on healthcare and wellbeing. Compared to 2007, these expenditures have gone up by 4.7 percent.

A quarter of the increase is due to the ageing of the population and population growth due to a higher life expectancy. But 60 percent of the growth is due to the fact that there are more patients and because medical techniques are constantly improving, the RIVM concluded.

Mental handicaps and dementia are the most expensive diseases with €6.8 billion ($9.2 billion) and €4.7 billion ($6.3 billion) in expenditures respectively. In the top ten the RIVM compiled, dental diseases claim the fourth spot, diabetes the seventh spot and depression is number eight. Back complaints close of the top ten; they cost in 2011 €1.3 billion ($1.75 billion).

What do these numbers mean for St. Maarten? First of all we ought to look at the current situation and see if it matches up with the situation in the Netherlands. Then we have to look at the future – and formulate a rescue plan.

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