The two Drenthe municipalities of Hoogeveen and Wolden are walking away from negotiations with regional healthcare provider Treant. “Treant is not willing to negotiate at all.”
Translation by Traci White
Erwin Slomp, an alderperson for Hoogeveen, is serving as a representative of the two municipalities in the discussions. Slomp told Dagblad van het Noorden that they are concerned about being forced to accept Treant’s plans to shut down local obstetrics and paediatrics departments in Stadskanaal and Hoogeveen and relocate them to one single location in the province. The merger would likely lead to staff redundancies and layoffs.
The alderpeople representing the municipalities in question have previously taken a stand against Treant’s centralisation plans, participating in demonstrations in May and June. “It’s up to the insurance companies to solve this problem”, Slomp says. “They are the ones that can keep healthcare affordable in Drenthe.”
UPDATE: 11:02 a.m., Saturday, 20 July
RTV Drenthe reports that health insurers Zilveren Kruis and Menzis will be taking over the decision making about the future plans for hospital care in Drenthe. The decision was reportedly made due to concerns from the banks: the hospitals have a 100 million euro line of credit from several banks, and if they banks were to force the hospitals to pay up, that would mean the end of the regional care group.
The insurance companies cannot allow that to happen because it goes against their responsibility of ensuring that adequate care is available to their customers. If Treant were to fail altogether, the results would be disastrous for the province. In order to ensure continued access to treatment, the two insurance companies will be taking over the creation of the strategic plan for the hospitals.