Praying for Reforms

The Amigoe recently published an excellent article by Jan Jager, in which he explained how the ministry of health is playing with the numbers and shuffling money without addressing the real medical costs.

The issue if very simple, and on a personal level, we all understand it: We have a Champagne taste on a beer-bottle budget

And you must listen to this oldie as an added value:

We simply cannot afford the level of healthcare we want and delusionally think we deserve.

On a personal note, if you covet a Mercedes Benz and really think you will look fantastic in a convertible, as a normative person, without illusions of grandeur, you will gratefully stick to your second hand Hyundai Atos.

But not in Aruba.

In Aruba we desire Dutch level services, but our resources fall short.

Why? Because we’re not paying taxes, the way the Dutch do. Imagine, as high as our taxes are, we pay less than the Dutch; We have a giant grey economy that skips tax-paying all together, and our tax collector is not as diligent as his Dutch counterparts. The reported VAT, which will help us pay some extra bills, will perhaps be introduced in 18 months.

Consequently, we are poorer, and can afford less.

But we all want to visit specialist for every boo-boo, that is normally handled in the office of the GP in the Netherlands, and our public employees really believe they are entitled to an AZV + deluxe package including orthodontics.

Thus the demand for reform in healthcare is real, the Dutch asked for some savings, in return for financial support, until June.

What’s gonna happen after June?

Big question.

Because even low-hanging fruit, relatively easy reforms, have not been introduced – such as co-pay, nixed twice for political reasons, and no one in his right mind would dare touch the AZV+ package of public employees. Not in an election year.

Incidentally, on May 26th, the court case AZV vs. HAVA will be decided, and we’re looking forward to a judgement in a complicated case. The GP practices are now open one hour less, since they get less money for their services.

We have been promised, since the onset of the pandemic that reforms are coming. These reforms were said to affect the three BIGGEST budget lines: Education, HealthCare, Labor and the its Social Umbrella.

So far nothing.

Recently Curacao and St Martin, appeared in the news arguing with the need to introduce changes. Aruba isn’t arguing. But its isn’t doing anything either, to get the ball rolling.

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May 21, 2021
Rona Coster