† Now that the Netherlands is reopening, entrepreneurs in healthcare transport are in danger of having too little capacity to meet the transport demand. At the moment, only a maximum of two thirds of a care transport vehicle may be used. The capacity-limiting measure is based on a recommendation from the RIVM. Recommendations for limited occupancy have always been carefully followed by healthcare providers. But increasing demand as a result of the recent easing has put carriers in a bind. Chairman Bertho Eckhardt of the KNV Healthcare Transport and Taxi Association calls on RIVM to reconsider the advice on healthcare transport and to withdraw it if possible.

It RIVM advised on December 25 to maintain capacity-limiting measures for healthcare transport, because a large number of users belong to the risk groups. Because of the vulnerability of the clients, the care transport companies consistently apply this advice as a rule. After all, healthcare transport is an integral part of the healthcare chain. The limitation of the maximum capacity of vehicles is part of the ‘Care Transport Sector Protocol’ drawn up by KNV Zorgvervoer and Taxi together with the trade unions CNV and FNV.

Op 15 in February the cabinet announced far-reaching relaxation. This will further increase the demand for healthcare transport. Carriers have already seen an increase in transport demand in recent times, as society opened up more and more. For example, the number of journeys in transport to and from hospitals increased after more and more regular care was rescheduled and overtaken.

Because not all seats in a vehicle may be used. , it is becoming increasingly difficult for carriers to meet the transport demand. More drivers and more vehicles should be deployed, but these are not available. This leads to an untenable situation. In some parts of the country, the capacity problems – especially during peak times in the morning and afternoon – have already resulted in journeys being driven later than planned, or in some cases not at all.

Bertho Eckhardt: “On behalf of the entrepreneurs, I urgently appeal to the RIVM for the advice of December by at the latest. February to reconsider and preferably even withdraw it, so that carriers can optimally meet the transport demand again. Naturally, carriers will – as always – do everything they can to ensure that transport takes place in the safest possible manner.”

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