Prehabilitation – improving the condition prior to surgery – should become standard care. Hospitals, patient organizations and physiotherapists advocate this in a letter to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). Broad introduction and funding of prehabilitation saves healthcare costs, according to the submitters.
The letter comes from the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU), the Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ), the Patient Federation and the Royal Dutch Society for Physiotherapy (KNGF). According to the submitters, prehabilitation ensures that patients enter the operation in the best possible condition, which speeds up recovery. For example, prehabilitation can lead to fewer complications, fewer hospital days, fewer unplanned readmissions, faster and better recovery of functioning and less relapse.
According to the 4 organizations, at least 25 hospitals are ready to offer prehabilitation for their patients. But at the moment only a few health insurers reimburse prehabilitation. That is why the submitters in the letter ask for prehabilitation to be included in standard care, so that reimbursement is arranged and this care can be scaled up more quickly.