Cheaper to get dementia in Holland than in the UK

£137,000 versus £89,000 (€164,000 versus €106,000) those are the out-of-pocket costs on a comparable basis for two cases of dementia care in the UK and in Holland.

For six years I managed the care for two elderly ladies (around 90 years of age) with dementia in both the UK and in the Netherlands.

In the UK there is practically no financial support from the State for dementia care if one has assets in excess of about £25,000. All costs are paid from the patient’s savings. In the Netherlands, all care in institutions is paid for by the State. However, the patient is charged a contribution that is means-tested on income and savings of the patient with a maximum capped at around €2,400 per month plus some ancillary costs after six months in care (paid at the low contribution of about €800 plus some costs).

For comparison purposes we assumed that both ladies had the same duration and type of care as the UK patient: 38 months in a ‘regular’ dementia home and 10 months in quasi-hospital care when she was bed-ridden 24/7 and needed assistance with all functions (This was between 2010 and end 2014). The UK lady paid an average of £2,400 per month for ‘regular’ care and an average £3,900 per month gross for the more intensive care less a Registered Nurse contribution of £400 or a net of £3,500 per month.

The Dutch lady paid €900 (£750) per month for the first six months and would have paid nearly €2,500 (£2,100) per month including extra costs for the remaining 42 months. As said, regardless of the level of intensity and requirements of the care, the monthly contribution is capped. Both ladies also had assets which would have put them in the highest mean-tested band in the Netherlands.

In total, the UK lady paid £137,000 in care costs over 48 months. The Dutch lady would have paid £89,000 over a similar period.

Who was that NHS doctor from Leeds again who said that healthcare in the Netherlands is so inferior…?