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ACM clears merger between two eastern Dutch hospitals

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the merger between two hospitals in the eastern Dutch provinces of Overijssel and Drenthe. These hospitals are the Noorderboog hospital in the city of Meppel and the Isala hospital in the city of Zwolle. ACM believes that health insurers and patients will continue to have sufficient options for hospital care in this region.

The Noorderboog group consists of a hospital in Meppel and an outpatients’ clinic in the town of Steenwijk, as well as nursing and care homes and home care organizations. Isala has hospitals in Zwolle and outpatients’ clinics in the towns of Kampen and Heerde.

Health insurers and patient organizations have few objections to this merger. After the merger, insurers will still be able to offer enough options for hospital care to the insured, and patients will still have enough hospital options in the vicinity. After the merger, some medical specialties will probably be offered from a single location in order to be able to comply with health care quality requirements.

ACM sets great store to the opinions of patient associations and health insurers, and it has carefully weighed all of the different arguments. ACM’s method of assessing mergers and collaborations in the health care industry is explained in the document ‘Assessing mergers and collaborations in hospital care’, which can be found on ACM’s website.