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Newsletter Article


Payment Reform for Medical Specialists

Health Minister Edith Schippers announced that the Dutch Healthcare Authority, the Dutch Order of Medical Specialists, and the Dutch Association of Hospitals have come to an agreement on medical specialist salaries for 2012. In the Netherlands, most specialists are hospital-based, with two-thirds self-employed and organized in partnerships, and the remainder salaried. Dutch specialists are among the highest paid in the world, with remuneration ranging from €150,000 to €500,000 (US$200,000 to US$675,000) annually; these rates are similar to salaries of their U.S. counterparts.

In 2009, Dutch medical specialist salaries totaled €2.7 billion, exceeding the federal budget for specialists by €700 million. The salary agreement for 2012 comes after resistance from medical specialists to previous Health Minister Ab Klink's proposal to set an income ceiling at €285,000 (US$397,264) for medical specialist salaries. In place of a firm income ceiling, the agreement calls for the Dutch Healthcare Authority—the agency responsible for overseeing health care markets in the Netherlands—to set the total budget for medical specialist salaries (€2.2 billion in 2012). Leadership within the hospitals will then negotiate salaries with collectives of medical specialists. This allows hospitals to determine salaries for their individual doctors, and grants hospitals the flexibility to better reward higher-performing specialists. The Order of Medical Specialists has agreed to an average salary of €250,000 to €300,000 per year.


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