Expenditure on care growing more slowly in 2003

According to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands, Dutch expenditure on care in 2003 increased by 8.4 percent to almost 57 billion euro. In 2001 and 2002 care expenditure increased by 11.4 and 11.8 percent. Expenditure on health care went up by 8.2 percent last year. On social care it increased by 9.2 percent. The increase is caused by higher wage costs within the institutions (more job volume and higher wages) and increased rates among the independent practitioners.

Care amounts to 3 512 euro per person

In 2003 per capita expenditure on care was 3 512 euro. This is a 7.9 percent increase on 2002 when per capita expenditure was 3 255 euro.

The percentage increase in care expenditure in 2003 substantially exceeded the increase in Gross Domestic Product. Therefore the share of care expenditure in GDP increased to 12.6 percent. In 2002 this was 11.8 percent.

Health care expenditure up by 8.2 percent

Health care expenditure increased by 8.2 percent in 2003, reaching 35.7 billion euro. Expenditure in general hospitals, the biggest category in health care, rose by 7.8 percent to 9.2 billion euro.

Expenditure on independent health practitioners such as GPs, specialists, dentists, midwives and paramedics exceeded 6.7 billion euro in 2003. This is 8.7 percent more than in 2002. The increase can be partly explained by the rate increase for GPs, paramedics and dentists. The higher cost of assistance by GPs is mainly caused by the rate increases for evening, night and weekend services.

Expenditure on medication bought at dispensing chemists and drug stores increased by 8.2 percent in 2003 to over 5.1 billion euro.

Expenditure of mental health care providers such as psychiatric hospitals and the regional mental health care units of RIAGG increased by 10.3 percent to almost 3.6 billion euro in 2003. The increase is mainly caused by the fact that the budget maximum for the mental health institutions (GGZ) was lifted in 2003.

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