Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Geography of Health Care Costs

People who live on the Dutch border are costing the Netherlands health service the most money. In North and South Pay the Most for Health Care Dutch radio station BNR has mapped out how much different areas in the Netherlands have claimed for different types of heath care.

Using data from health insurers BNR has mapped the amount of money spent in different Dutch neighborhoods for various health care needs. The map reveals that overall health care costs are highest in Heerlen and Pekela. Mental health care costs are highest in Zutphen, Assen and Renkum and General Practitioner (family doctor) costs are highest in Waddeneilanden.

For me the map raises as many questions as answers. The user needs access to demographic data alongside the health care data to really understand the geography of health care costs in the Netherlands. For example are the areas with the most spent on healthcare the areas with the most elderly population?  Or do these areas have a higher percentage of lower income groups? Perhaps the geographical differences in health care costs can be explained by doctor's bills. Are these areas just where doctors charge more for the same services (maybe Dutch readers of BNR are assumed to know this already).

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