Care expenditure up by 1.2 percent in 2022

© ANP / Patricia Rehe
In 2022, spending on care and welfare, including child care, amounted to 126.2 billion euros. This is 1.5 billion euros (1.2 percent) higher than in 2021. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on new, provisional figures.

The relatively low growth in health care expenditure last year is partly due to the fact that much of the spending in 2020 and 2021 related to coronavirus was brought to an end. Relative to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, total expenditure was up by 17.5 percent; an average annual increase of 5.5 percent over a three-year period. With 13.2 percent, current health expenditure as percentage of GDP has returned to its pre-pandemic level.

Growth in care expenditure
Jaary-o-y (y-o-y % change)
*Provisional figures ** Revised provisional figures

Ending of coronavirus-related cost, rise in social care cost

The various types of care and welfare expenditure showed different developments. Childcare and social care costs increased, just as the costs of medicinal products. On the other hand, a major portion of the coronavirus-related cost was dropped, in particular the costs of testing and vaccination as well as the ‘healthcare bonus’ scheme. Coronavirus-related costs fell especially among providers of preventive health care, such as the Municipal Health Service (GGD), and the providers of ancillary health services, including laboratories.

Expenditures on care and welfare providers, 2022
deelsectorChange (y-o-y % change)
Social care providers50.8
Childcare providers7.9
Medicine suppliers7.1
Ancillary service providers-10.0
Preventive care providers-34.7
Other care2.1

Higher childcare and social care expenditures

The rising expenditure on providers of social care is mainly related to the soaring costs of asylum seeker shelters in 2022. This is partly as a result of the larger influx of asylum seekers. Relative to the previous year, there were 10,795 thousand more first-time asylum applicants; an increase of 44 percent. Spending on child care providers rose by 450 million euros in 2022 compared to 2021, in part because the number of children cared for went up by 5.6 percent.

Spending on medicinal suppliers up by 7 percent

The cost of prescription and non-prescription medicines sold through pharmacies, drugstores and supermarkets increased by 7.1 percent. It is the highest growth rate since 2007. This does not include medicines dispensed to people in care institutions. The increase in spending is due in part to the introduction of new, expensive medicines into the basic healthcare package. Spending on self-care medicines rose by nearly 9 percent.

Per capita health expenditure up by 18 euros

In 2022, total per capita expenditure on care and welfare amounted to 7,129 euros on average. This is 18 euros more than in 2021.
As the coronavirus-related expenditure was dropped, the related per capita spending fell by 9.2 percent relative to 2021. This is equivalent to around 158 euros. The average expenditure paid through the Dutch Health Insurance Act and the Long-term care Act (Wlz) rose by 61 euros (2.1 percent) and 69 euros (4.6 percent) respectively in 2022. The increase in Wlz expenditure is due in part to a higher number of long-term care users, as well as an influx from the municipal domain of adults with a lifelong need for intensive mental health care.

Financing of public care and welfare, per capita
jaarGovernment (euros)Long-term Care Act (euros)Health Insurance Act (euros)Supplementary insurance, own payments, corporate, international (euros)
* Provisional figures ** Revised provisional figures