In May, more than 77,000 people in the Netherlands were waiting for mental health care (GGZ). 27,000 of them waited longer than stipulated in the so-called Treeknorm, a standard agreed by healthcare providers and health insurers about the maximum waiting time in mental health care. That appears from new figures from the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa). In particular, the number of patients who wait too long for an intake interview is high.
As of this year, providers of mental health care are legally obliged to provide information about their waiting lists to the NZa. The authority wants to gain insight into the waiting lists per region, per diagnosis and how many people wait longer than agreed in the Treeknorm. According to this standard, there is currently a maximum of four weeks between calling the GGZ and the intake. The limit is ten weeks between the intake and the start of a treatment.
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In May, however, almost twenty thousand people had to wait longer than these four weeks for an intake. Nearly eight thousand people waited longer than ten weeks to start their treatment. In particular, people who sought help in basic mental health care, for depression and for anxiety disorders had to wait longer for their intake or treatment.
The NZa report also shows that most people entered mental health care in the regions of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Waardenland in May. In the regions of Apeldoorn/Zutphen, Drenthe and North Limburg, the proportion of people who waited longer for an intake than agreed according to the Treeknorm was highest.