A health care consumers act
In the Netherlands’ new healthcare system, a great deal is expected of the (insured) patient: he or she is required to become a ‘care consumer’, making rational choices on the basis of comparative information, thus incentivising both care providers and health insurers to raise quality standards.
The patient has in effect become the key to the success of the new system. But how realistic is this expectation? Are patients actually in a position to fulfil the role envisaged for them?