The Netherlands has officially scrapped psychoanalysis from the insurance package. According to the care insurance board, there is insufficient scientific evidence that psychoanalysis is efficacious.
De Volkskrant, a leading newspaper in The Netherlands, reports that the CVZ has officially removed psychoanalysis from the list of treatments that health-care insurers must reimburse. The decision was taken on March 23, 2010, and is effective immediately.
As a transitional measure, patients who are already being treated will continue to be reimbursed for the costs of the treatment, which amount to approximately €12,500.00 ($18,000 CAD) per year, but new patients will have to pay for the treatment themselves.
An average of 600 people currently receive psychoanalysis every year, for a total cost of €7.5-million per year.
However, the CVZ says this amount of money, a mere drop in the bucket of the €33-billion a year budget for health care, was not a consideration in coming to the decision. The reason underlying the decision to no longer reimburse psychoanalysis is that there is no scientific evidence of its efficacy.
Rob van der Plank, president of the board of directors of the NPI, a large provider of psychoanalytic services, calls this a black day for psychoanalysis. He has sent a letter to health minister Ab Klink in which he calls the decision by the CVZ insufficiently motivated and a disaster for patients. He wants Klink to try to reverse the decision.
The NVP, independent psychologists and psychotherapists accuse the CVZ of being one-sided, because it has only looked at scientific evidence and not at their empirical results.