When you sit across Jos de Blok, you don’t really get the impression that you’re across from a CEO of a company with nearly half a billion revenue. No suits or ties for this softhearted man who you can almost always find with a smile on his face. But when he starts talking you can see the fire behind his eyes of someone who is sure he has the solution to reform the healthcare system. And when you finish that conversation one and a half hours later, you’ll believe that too.
Jos: ‘The biggest problem which a healthcare professional faces is regulation. This leads to people no longer looking at how a patient can be helped most effectively. That’s why a care plan is adapted to the regulation. That makes sure it starts being about money rather than the person, the patient. It leads to unnecessary treatments. 40% of care provided in hospitals could just as well be provided from home.’
‘Making money within healthcare is simple. It’s so subjective that you can make a care plan however you’d like. A practitioner “is invited” to word his application in such a way that he has access to as much budget as possible. This needs to change. There are many perverse things everywhere, in all systems, and this leads to healthcare becoming unaffordable.’
‘If a specialist of psychiatrist needs to make a diagnosis for instance, they’ll then look at what elements he needs in the care plan, regardless of whether the patient needs it, to get compensated enough.’
‘The major problem is money and people. Our population is increasing and therefore our need for healthcare as well. You need to try to use the same resources to reach the same standard to quality. The investment needs to be limited, but quality needs to still be ensured. Which is certainly possible if you adapt regulation.’
‘This isn’t just a problem for the Netherlands or western Europe. It’s a global issue. Look at China for instance. They’ve decided everyone above a certain age has access to care, whether they need it or not. That leads to a huge amount of waste. We approach each country differently to see what we can do within the local culture and regulation. In china only 25% of the people are insured. If you don’t have insurance and end up in a hospital you’ll be outside again in no time. In China we started with people who needed long term care. We are trying to shift the institutional care (hospitals and nursing homes), to home care, that’s our initial focus.
‘In India we’re working together with a company that focuses on education. We take girls from villages, who we train to be caretakers or nurses. This way we provide a social impact for women and their families. In those villages there are very few trained nurses, and those who are work in hospitals.’
‘In England we stated to integrate the existing system of the National Health Service (free care for all), into the Buurtzorg model. And that’s starting to take hold. At a congress in October the English Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, stated that he was charmed by the Buurtzorg model. He said that the moment had come to take the Dutch healthcare model and integrate it on a national level’