Hygiene and infection prevention in care institutions.


One of the items on the agenda was a report issued by the Healthcare Inspectorate on 29 April 2015. The report states that elderly care institutions are taking too little action in the field of hygiene and the prevention of infectious diseases. Minister Schippers acknowledges the problems. She wants institutions to intensify their policy in this field and advocates more measures in the field of surveillance and regional cooperation. According to the minister the organisation of the cooperation between institutions and the various health care sectors is not strong enough to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and antibiotics resistance. 

Problems with antibiotics for lung and skin patients

At present, lung and skin patients cannot get their usual antibiotics. The company that makes the medicine is short of an essential excipient. Minister Schippers made mention of a temporary solution, namely the administration of an alternative antibiotic, containing a different excipient. However, the costs of this medicine are not reimbursed, because it has not been registered in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the Healthcare Inspectorate has given green light. Insurance companies are ready to compensate patients who are intolerant to alternative medicaments for medical reasons. Besides, talks are being conducted with the licence holder about the registration of the new antibiotic in the Netherlands.

Shortage of medicaments

According to minister Schippers the Dutch State is not always capable of influencing the shortage of medicaments. Such a shortage can have various causes, varying from problems with the production and the supply of raw materials to economic motives. The Dutch State cannot force companies to produce certain medicaments. However, in case of shortage a solution for patients has to be found at short notice. That is why the minister set up a working group consisting of all parties involved by the end of 2013.