Cabinet approves extension of Temporary Ambulance Care Act

The cabinet has agreed to present a bill to extend the Temporary Ambulance Care Act by three years as proposed by the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers. This act entered into force in 2013 and will now be extended to 2019. Under the temporary act, there is one designated ambulance service per region, responsible for ambulance care and for running the emergency call centre for ambulance services.

Acute care is a matter of ongoing debate in the Netherlands. Issues that have not yet been settled include the role health insurers can play in the acute care system and how the national emergency call centre should be structured. A lot is being done to increase transparency in the quality of ambulance services. A radical organisational change would not be conducive to these processes.

The government therefore wishes to extend the temporary act for a limited period to maintain the current situation for the time being. This will ensure stability in the ambulance sector and allow decisions on the future of ambulance services in the Netherlands to be made based on the outcome of ongoing discussions.