† Patient and client organisations, healthcare carriers and health insurers have jointly made agreements about the quality of patient transport. They recorded the agreements in the Covenant on Patient Transport Guidelines. Signing this covenant is an important step in safeguarding the agreements. The Dutch Kidney Patients Association (NVN), the Dutch Federation of Cancer Patient Organizations (NFK), Elke(in) and the Dutch Patient Federation signed the covenant on behalf of the patient and client organisations. KNV signed on behalf of the healthcare providers. Zorgverzekeraars Nederland did this on behalf of the insurers.
The guidelines framework constitutes the basis for agreements between carriers and health insurers about high-quality seated patient transport for an adequate fee. With these guidelines, the signatories want to provide the negotiations between the parties on a good basis, taking into account price, efficiency and quality. For example, patients or clients can not only count on good quality transport, they can also rely on these guidelines that complaints will be treated adequately. After all, the goal is that they ultimately lead to noticeable improvements. By signing this covenant, all parties commit themselves to jointly ensure that this is safeguarded.
Initiation of the covenant and delay due to corona
The reason for the covenant was the commitment in 2019 of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport to the House of Representatives to ask the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) to conduct an exploration with parties about possible problems in the procurement of patient transport. KNV Zorgvervoer has been campaigning for this for some time, together with trade unions. The minister’s undertaking led to exploratory talks, initially led by the NZa and at a later stage with the consent of the NZa, under the direction of the parties themselves. The talks were delayed due to the corona pandemic, but last summer the talks were resumed by the parties involved.
KNV maintained coordination with a representative of the employees during the process. NVN and NFK did the same with other patient organisations. Agreements have been made about quality levels and improvement cycles, among other things. The quality framework for patient transport that NVN had previously drawn up served as the starting document for the new guidelines framework.