Schippers: ‘Better allocation of roles and responsibilities between health ministry and Dutch Healthcare Authority’

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will itself determine healthcare financing policy in future. The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) will implement the policy set out by the ministry. This will create a more logical division between the roles of the NZa and the ministry, making it clear who is responsible for what. This is just one of the measures that health minister Edith Schippers has announced in response to the recommendations of the Borstlap Committee.

Merger assessment and the ‘significant market power’ instrument that are currently still the responsibility of the NZa will be transferred to the Authority for Consumers and Markets. The NZa will continue to oversee health care, including health insurers’ duty of care, supervision of the implementation of long-term care and health insurance legislation, and measures to counter errors and fraud in the healthcare sector. The NZa will be responsible for dealing with individual cases.

More measures

Besides changes to the NZa’s remit, measures will also be taken to strengthen the organisation internally. A three-member management board will be established, chaired by Marian Kaljouw, who was appointed last week. The position of the Advisory Board will be strengthened and an audit committee will be set up to conduct internal investigations of ICT-related and financial matters. The office that handles complaints about abuses in the healthcare sector will be expanded and made more customer-friendly. The NZa itself will improve its HR policy and ICT, and its internal policy on management costs has been tightened up.

Borstlap Committee

In 2014 Ms Schippers established an independent committee to investigate the internal functioning of the NZa in response to a broad-ranging official complaint from a deceased NZa staff member concerning his performance assessment. In his complaint, the employee was critical of the organisation’s HR and ICT policy. He also criticised the relationship between the NZa and the ministry.