ActiZ is the Dutch association for residential and home care organizations and infant and child health clinics. The members of ActiZ annually provide care for more than 2 million clients and employ around 430,000 people.
ActiZ promotes the interests of its members in such a way that the perspectives and needs of its members are heard and addressed in national health policy development, legislative and regulatory debates, and judicial matters. ActiZ also assists in establishing a comprehensive continuum of care, and in the development of appropriate quality of life’ standards for care for the elderly.
ActiZ’ policy is client-driven. ActiZ members are transparent about the services and the quality of care they provide.
The Dutch care system
The Dutch national healthcare system is publically funded and accessible to everyone. It distinguishes between cure and care. Care is mainly EMEA-funded. EMEA is the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act, a social security fund covering long-term care. But where the care is publically funded, it is provided by private organizations providing assisted living, residential and nursing home care, home care and infant, child and adolescent welfare.
Various healthcare system reforms have posed new challenges to care providers:
• The free market system (since 2006)
• Shift from supply-driven to demand-driven care
• A shift from system quality to output quality
• Technological innovations
The economic crisis and persistent budget deficit, combined with an ever increasing demand for care have also affected the care sector. The government focuses on cost control and cutbacks, while at the same time the rise in the ageing population and the shortage of personnel put further pressure on the care sector.
ActiZ is looking for ways of dealing with the expected demographic and labour market developments, both financially and socially.
ActiZ is strongly in favor of demand-driven care. The current financing system limits the clients’ opportunities of choosing the care they wish. It is complex and directive. ActiZ thinks that clients should be able to buy care themselves and has been promoting systems that support this, for instance a voucher system. Basic long-term publically funded care of good quality should remain available to those who really need it. Part of the rising costs of care could be covered by charging for services exceeding basic care.
• promotes the interests of its members with all stakeholders;
• negotiates the financing of care with national and local agencies and insurance companies;
• bargains the terms of collective labor agreement;
• informs its members on pertinent legislation, government policy and regulations.
ActiZ focuses on:
• Clients’ self-management
• Quality 2.0
• Sustainable care (labor market)
• Social compliance
Supporting the quality of life and self-management and self-reliance of people and the ‘together-management’ of the environment and highly motivated professional workers, in a sector which is attractive and responsible and yielding high social revenues.