Introduction


Ambulancezorg Nederland is the number one sector organisation for ambulance care. The organisation offers various types of support to the  Regional Ambulance Services (RAVs), ambulance organisations and the professionals who work there.
 
It also promotes the collective interests of the sector. The ambulance care sector employs 5,600 people, 4,430 of whom work as specialised nurses and drivers or as staff at the ambulance care dispatch centres.
 
Each year, the Ambulance Care Dispatch Centres (MKA) in the Netherlands handle more than a million calls. Ambulance organisations respond to more than 1.000,000 call-outs, 66% of which are urgent.
These involve situations that may be life-threatening or may result in serious damage to health. The other 34% of call-outs involve planned transport.


Finance

The sector’s macro budget is about 525 million euros. Ambulance care is financed from health insurance premiums for which the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) determines the policy rules. The Regional Ambulance Services conclude production agreements with health insurers.
 

Legislative framework

In late 2008, the Ambulance Care Act (WAZ) came into force. As a result, the management and financing of care are now combined. The Act provides that the minister is responsible for issuing permits to the Regional Ambulance Services. The Netherlands has opted for a system in which a specialised nurse and an ambulance driver together provide the care. They work on the basis of protocols.


Animation "Ambulance care in the Netherlands"

For more information on the Dutch ambulance care, please watch one of our animations (either German-speaking or English-speaking) on "Ambulance care in the Netherlands".