Several media have reported on the preliminary relief proceedings instituted by 19 mental healthcare providers and the Dutch Mental Healthcare Association (“de Nederlandse ggz”, previously named GGZ Nederland) against five healthcare administration offices, which took place on 10 September 2020 before the Court of The Hague. Healthcare institutions for the elderly and the disabled also instituted preliminary relief proceedings of their own on 10 September 2020, with a view to realistic long-term care rates for their members.
A team of Maverick Advocaten, consisting of Diederik Schrijvershof, Leyla Bozkurt and Jeanne Plettenburg, represented the healthcare association and the 19 mental healthcare providers. A summary of the preliminary relief proceedings was published by Trouw and Zorgvisie. Furthermore, an article appeared in The Financieele Dagblad and The Brabants Dagblad and the Gooi- en Eemlander reported on the proceedings. Background articles had previously been published in NRC, Skipr and Zorgvisie.
De Nederlandse ggz and its members were forced to institute these proceedings to challenge the 6% reduction of the long-term rates of the Dutch Healthcare Authority (“NZa”), unilaterally imposed for 2021 by the healthcare administration offices. 94% of the NZa rate is foreseeably insufficient to provide the high-quality healthcare to which long-term mental healthcare patients are entitled. In 2021, the inflow of mental healthcare patients will increase by at least 18,000 long-term care patients, also under the Wet maatschappelijke ondersteuning (Social Support Act). As a result of this and other factors, more professional “bedside care providers” in the mental health sector will be needed. The hoarding of the available long-term care funds (-6%) by the healthcare administration offices will make that impossible. Without adequate funds, the shortage of qualified staff will increase rather than drop. Moreover, mental healthcare providers will be able to provide long-term care in 2021 only if they sign a three-year long-term care contract (2021-2023). The healthcare providers cannot terminate that three-year contract without being liable for damages, even if the 6% penalty increases further in 2022 and 2023.
The court’s ruling is expected on 8 October 2020.