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Update 30 October 2017

Update 30 October 2017

Welcome to the newest update on private healthcare in the Netherlands. It has been quiet the last few weeks, so not much news this time:

  • Two new ministers for health in the new coalition government. What will their likely influence on the Dutch healthcare sector be?
  • In our snapshot we give an overview of Thomashuizen / De Drie Notenboomen an organization that provides long-term care in the disabled and elderly-care sector.

Healthcare gets two ministers in the new coalition government

In the previous update an overview was given of the main goals of the new coalition government for the healthcare sector. Given that ministries have had to be allocated across four parties, one of the solutions has been to have two ministers for some of the government ministries. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is one of the ministries now having two ministers.

Hugo de Jonge comes from the CDA (Christian Democrats), and has the responsibility for long-term care. He has extensive knowledge of the healthcare sector as he has been Alderman with the portfolio of healthcare for the city of Rotterdam. In that role he has been pro-active in developing new elderly care solutions, and has been positive to the use of PGB (see previous update). Hugo de Jonge has become an instant celebrity in the Netherlands because he wore very modern blue-white shoes for the official cabinet photo with the King.

Bruno Bruins is a member of the VVD (Conservative) and will have the responsibility for hospitals and primary care. He has a mixed political and business background. He has been an Alderman in The Hague and State Secretary for Education, Science and Culture. In 2008 he became CEO of Connexxion (a large public transport company) and was until recently the CEO of the Employee Insurance Agency (UVW) with the responsibility of helping clients find and keep jobs. Given his business experience and the general pro-business and liberal viewpoints of the VVD this should suggest an open environment for commercial healthcare in the Dutch market and a positive view on foreign entrants into the market.

Snapshot of a Dutch private sector healthcare operator: Thomashuizen / De Drie Notenboomen

Thomashuizen was started in 2003 by Hans van Putten. He was very unhappy with the care that his severely disabled son, Thomas, was receiving in the traditional care organizations, and decided to set up a small-scale care organization. The core idea of a Thomashuis is that they are small scale (typically 8 disabled clients) and run by a couple with healthcare experience who typically live on location.

Today there are 118 Thomashuizen across the Netherlands. Each Thomashuis is an independent organization with a franchise contract with the mother-company. The mother-company develops and follows up on quality-focused processes, carries out marketing related activities and does all administrative activities.

Thomashuizen is part of De Drie Notenboomen. In addition to the Thomashuizen, De Drie Notenboomen has also developed De Herbergier (41 small-scale elderly-care locations) and is developing new ambulant-care concepts for elderly and disabled clients who are able to live independently. De Drie Notenboomen is majority owned by DC Groep (a commercial healthcare conglomerate with interests in hospitals and long-term care).