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ACM clears creation of joint venture of two Dutch hospitals

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the creation of a joint venture of two hospitals in the Netherlands. This joint venture will consist of the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (AVL) in Amsterdam and the oncology department of the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC Utrecht). Patients and health insurers will still have enough options for oncological care. Moreover, there are no indications that prices will rise or quality will decrease.

AVL in Amsterdam specializes in the treatment for cancer. The UMC Utrecht offers, among other services, treatments  for cancer in the region of Utrecht. By establishing a joint venture, the hospitals want to make patient care more efficient, streamline research, and introduce innovations in cancer treatment faster. Treatments will continue to take place at both locations.

Two health insurers, patient organizations and patient councils are positive about the plans of AVL and UMC Utrecht. They expect that the quality of care will improve because more knowledge and expertise can be exchanged. Two other health insurers see positives, but they also fear that the location in Utrecht will attract more patients, possibly at the expense of other hospitals, because of AVL’s repuation.

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.