Patient care

Top-reference care is only offered in the UMCs. This is how centres guarantee the continuity of care for all patients in the Netherlands, especially for those with serious or rare illnesses or ones that are difficult to treat.

This care is characterised by very specialised patient care accompanied by special diagnosis and treatment for which referral is no longer possible (‘last resort’). All top-reference care patients can go to at least one UMC that specialises in that illness.

Top-reference care requires an infrastructure in which many disciplines work together at the highest level for the benefit of patient care. This care is connected with fundamental patient-oriented research. Patients who undergo this care are treated based on the very latest medical knowledge.

Provision of top-reference care is linked to the public function of the UMCs, which brings about changes in care. Other healthcare providers are also encouraged to integrate new developments into their service provision as quickly as possible. Although the UMCs do generate more costs than general hospitals because they offer top-reference care, these costs are additionally financed and are on the low side compared to other countries.


Afdrukken
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