In 2011 the rise in care volume was primarily responsible for the rise in care expenditure. The Dutch care volume grew faster in 2011 than in 2010.
Care volume increased more than in 2010
In 2011 nearly 90 billion euro was spent on care in the Netherlands. This is 3.5 percent more than in 2010, adjusted for a one-off government compensation. Price developments in care had very little influence. The growth in the care volume, that is care expenditure corrected for price changes, reached 3.7 percent in 2011.
The growth rate was higher in 2011 than in 2010, when the care volume rose by nearly 3 percent. In 2008 and 2009 it had gone up by about 5 percent though.
Care volume in total care, hospital care and mental health care in the Netherlands
Nearly 5 percent volume increase in hospital care
There was an almost 5 percent increase in the care volume of Dutch hospital care, including medical specialist practices in 2011. This was about the same as in 2010. The continuous rise in clinical hospital admissions, day and part-time treatments, and initial visits to outpatient departments play a role in this.
The volume also rose sharply in mental health care: 4.6 percent in both years.
In a covenant between the government and these two sectors, the maximum annual volume growth is set at 2.5 percent as of 2012.
More volume growth in the care for the elderly and the disabled
The volume growth in the care for the elderly reached 3.8 percent in 2011. This is more than in 2010, when it increased by 1.1 percent. The volume growth in the care for the disabled also exceeded the 2010 growth rate (3.5 compared to 1.6 percent).
Care volume in other Dutch care sectors
More than 6 percent volume growth in medicine supplied by public pharmacies
Dispensing medicines through public pharmacies and drug stores saw a volume increase of more than 6 percent in 2011. This means the volume continues to grow at the same high rate as in the four years before. This is due to the aging of the population and because more care is provided outside institutions. Also, there is an increase in the use of expensive medicines.
On the other hand, the average price for medicines has been falling for years. This means that spending on medicines has grown relatively little for years, at around the 2 percent level.