Friday, February 20, 2009

Aukje de Vries' Diary Day 33

I really should do some of the tougher jobs that are still waiting for me, but I don’t feel at all like it. I think of the newspaper article about home care of last Saturday. The author has asked for reactions and you also can address messages to him. I find 41 reactions to his article. Practically all of them agree that these large scale home care organisations are no good and that small scale organisations are much better. There seem to be more small organisations than only buurtzorg. The majority of writers think that marketisation of care has not been a good idea, although some people argue that it is not only marketisation that has caused all the trouble. I need not write another reaction. I will not have much to add to what others have already said.

Actually there is a lot more wrong with the long-term care insurance than only the way in which large scale home care organisations are run.

I decide to write a message to the author, suggesting him to do articles about thee more issues. One issue is that there are at least a dozen and probably more bureaucratic agencies doing some kind of regulation, administration, advising, monitoring or whatever. Are they all necessary? There is already some discussion about the agency that does the assessments for long-term care throughout the country. They seem to employ no less than 3300 persons, so it not a small agency.

The second issue is that the co-payments for long-term care, which are income related are becoming higher and higher so that in some cases people do better not to go to the agencies financed by the long-term care insurance but to arrange for care privately. Is that what we are insured for? It is completely unclear how much users have to pay for their long-term care and I think this is a highly undesirable situation. Not only will mistakes in invoices go unnoticed, it also could open the way to fraud.

In the third place I have just read an article in a newspaper which has explained that it is totally unclear how the 22 billion Euros available for long-term care have been spent. How is this possible when we can hear workers in the care sector complain that they have to register how each minute of their time is spent? There have been large ICT projects in the care sector.

What sense does that make if data that are collected are not used?

I hope he will take these issues up.

Pensions are on the political agenda today. The Minister of Social Affairs has had a meeting with representatives of the pension funds. These funds (for the occupational pensions) must meet certain criteria about the reserves they have. At present they do not meet these criteria and it is likely that they will be unable to redress the situation in three years. The Minister is willing to allow them 5 years to recover on the condition that they will not increase the pensions during these 5 years. That means that pensioners will not be compensated for inflation. Some of the political parties immediately protest. At least one advantage for pensioners is that we cannot become unemployed. I think that those who lose their jobs are worst off in this crisis.

During this week we have not heard anything about the investigation on the Dutch involvement in the war in Iraq. The economic situation overshadows everything.

I’ll forget about it tonight. I am looking forward to go to the theatre.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Aujke,

    Long-term care is a big issue in the USA. Today we've heard about a gunman who entered a North Carolina (a southern state) nursing home and killed some 7 older people. Terrible! Tell me, do you have such random violence with arms in the Netherlands?

    I like to read your diary,

    Sadie Fulk