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Added value

Participants may have various reasons to innovate healthcare for people with an international background:

  • An increase of trust of international patients in their doctor strengthens the patient-doctor relationship and therefor the results of treatment.
  • Development of healthcare for this target group serves a broader innovation agenda towards population oriented healthcare.
  • There is a need to increase market share and to attract addtional patient groups.
  • Many internationals are already registered as patients, but serving them is considered to be complicated. It deflects attention from other groups and ultimately leads to universal dissatisfaction.
  • Public health is at stake, because specific patient groups purchase antibiotics abroad, contrary to Dutch policy.
  • The government or business community wants to improve the conditions for investment and settlement. This can be motivated both economically and socially to foster integration of migrants into the Dutch system.

By sharing knowledge, skills and tools, the cost and risks of development are considerably reduced.

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Why Healthcare for internationals

By exchanging knowledge, skills and concepts, healthcare providers in H4i can innovate healthcare delivery to internationals and create added value against minimal addtional costs and risks.

Healthcare for internationals considers it essential that everyone in the Netherlands should feel safe with his or her doctor. Research* has shown, however, that a large part of the 800.000 people from an international background, living and working in the Netherlands, don’t feel comfortable with Dutch Healthcare. Confidence in doctors is very low; only 32% trusts the judgement of their doctor, compared to 85% amongst the Dutch.
This causes internationals to feel unsafe or even anxious. This results in many finding themselves ill at home in the Netherlands, impeding social and economic integration.

Lack of trust is caused by the expectations people have when they come to the Netherlands. They are used to other health systems that allow, for instance, direct access to medical specialists or where antibiotics or diagnostic tests are more readily prescribed. In addition there may be differences in culture and in most cases a language barrier. Simply explaining that Dutch healthcare is amongst the best in the world does not automatically build confidence and often even is counterproductive.

Research, as well as the project at SGE International have shown that confidence of internationals increases, if caregivers take the time to better understand the needs and expectations of their international patient. This strenghtens the patient-doctor relationship as well and therefor the results of treatment. Also investments in accessibility, hospitality and specific communications skills have proven effective.

*You can download a summary of this research here:
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Healthcare providers

H4i, a network of healthcare providers

Healthcare 4 internationals is a non-profit network of organisations which aims to have Dutch healthcare better meet the needs and expectations of people with an internationals background. It concerns primarily healthcare providers, but also other stakeholding organisations can participate.
Internationals, collectively organised, also participate in H4i.

By exchanging knowledge, skills and concepts, healthcare providers in H4i can innovate healthcare delivery to internationals and create added value against minimal addtional costs and risks.

Participants may have various reasons to innovate healthcare for people with an international background. The added value of innovating…
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What can H4i do for healthcare providers

  • Participants of H4i can share knowledge skills and tools, in addition to jointly developing healthcare programs for the target group.
  • Healthcare providers participating in H4i jointly develop and manage a quality label that guarantees internationals an appropriate level of care.
  • Internationals will be able to participate both nationaly and regionaly in the development of healthcare services targeted at the people with an international background. This participation is facilitated by H4i.
  • H4i provides on behalf of the particpants information to the target group about Dutch Healthcare and the services of its members.
  • H4i promotes the common interests of its participants
  • H4i supports healthcare providers  in developing services.

The aformentioned activities are ideally organised decentrally, by one or more participants.

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