Changes in society are clearly reflected in the Dutch healthcare sector. Whereas in the past the focus was on delivering (health) care, there is now a clear shift towards client facilitation. The individual wishes of the care recipient are now the guiding principle.
Since 2014, residential services and care services have been separated, in a series of phases. The objective of this separation is to deliver greater variety in service, freedom of choice and cost management. The Long-Term Healthcare Act was introduced on 1 January 2015. On the basis of this Act, relevant care is offered, with a specific focus on the individual wellbeing of each client. Quality of life is the central focus. Changes within the Social Support Act (Wmo) have also been successfully concluded. Municipalities have now been made responsible for the self-reliance and participation of individuals with a disability or chronic psychological or psychosocial issues. At the same time, on the basis of alterations to the Youth Act, municipal authorities have been made responsible for youth services and the implementation of child protection measures and juvenile probation services.
In addition to reforms in long-term care, the use of E-health applications is enjoying an upsurge in interest. Care providers are increasingly making use of care technology and growing numbers of grants and subsidies are available for the development of E-health. In other words, the healthcare sector is in a constant state of development.
The developments outlined above are reflected in legal terms, in numerous areas of the law and special practice groups. As a consequence of the separation of residential and care services, (health) care providers are for example constantly looking to establish contacts with other parties on the market. This in turn is resulting in new forms of cooperation, and calls for expertise in civil law and administrative law. Changes to the Wmo Act have consequences for tendering law and employment law, in a situation in which reorganisations caused by the transfer of tasks to municipal authorities have become unavoidable. The introduction of market forces in healthcare has led to elements of competition law becoming relevant in this sector, too. Healthcare providers must be made aware of the fact that specific (sometimes non-standard) rules of play apply. The use of E-health applications demands legal expertise in the field of privacy and IT law. The specialists at Banning are aware of all the developments within the sector, and can bring a huge amount of knowledge and experience of a wide range of legal issues within the healthcare sector to the table. We will be happy to provide you with all the support you need.