Limiting Solidarity in the Netherlands: A Two-Tier System on the Way
ter Meulen, Ruud H.J.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1995 Dec; 20(6): 607-616.
Health care policy in the Netherlands has long been guided by the values of solidarity and equality. As a result of several forces, particularly the scarcity of resources, the retreat of the Welfare State and the introduction of market forces in health care, both values are increasingly under strain. Next to solidarity and equality, freedom of choice and financial responsibility are playing an important role in Dutch health care. Consequently, there is a growing division in Dutch health care between two tiers, one basic tier giving access to a basic package of services and a luxury tier giving access to a higher quality of care and to services not included in the basic package. The main thesis of the article is that a two-tier system is morally justified on the condition that the basic tier is universally accessible and is based on the value of humanitarian solidarity.
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