In many countries, most social care is carried out by unqualified workers on low pay. The economic rationale: why pay for health professionals when you don’t have to?
But a Dutch approach to social care is turning that argument on its head - why use anyone who is not a healthcare professional? And remarkably, it is showing that using qualified nurses ends up being cheaper.
‘Buurtzorg’, meaning ‘neighbourhood care’, allows nurses to act as a ‘health coach’ for their patients, advising them on how to stay healthy, caring for their needs and using their initiative.
This proactive process has enabled the Dutch healthcare system to reduce costs by around 40%, while the time it takes to administer care has been slashed by a staggering 50%.