Patient Advocate: Ronald Hamaker
In 2009 I survived a tumor in my esophagus. At that time I was lucky to meet doctors who helped me to find the best possible treatment. I believe this is the main reason I have been able to lead a normal live since.
Professionally I had been observing the Dutch Health care system from a health insurers perspective for eight years till recently. It is said that the quality of Dutch healthcare is good in average. This may be true. The devil is in the word average though. Good in average means there is some excellent healthcare, a whole lot of average good healthcare, but also a considerable amount of below average to poor healthcare. If we want to get cancer under control within reasonable time, we simply cannot afford ourselves to waist any resources on below average cancer care. To my opinion cancer care needs to be organized around centers of excellence on a (inter) national scale. Why has this not been done so far?
Based on the findings in the master’s thesis I wrote in 2014 on the subject of competition in the health insurance market, the answer is that the healthcare system is price driven, not value driven and patients’ interests are widely overlooked. As a Patient advocate for Inspire2Live I want to give patients a say in the decision making of how the best cancer care should look like.