A recent report by Dutch newspapers Trouw, Investico, and De Groene Amsterdammer has revealed that the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) is risking the health of asylum seekers by prioritizing the cheapest healthcare bids.
The healthcare group, Arts en Zorg, won the bid six years ago and set up Healthcare Asylum Seekers (GZA) to provide medical care for asylum seekers.
However, GZA has been unable to provide adequate care to all asylum seekers since last year, and Doctors Without Borders had to intervene.
As a result, COA had to hire two secondment companies, Just4Care and Arts en Specialist, to provide extra GPs, nurses, and assistants at emergency asylum shelters.
The quality of medical care these companies provide has been questioned by dozens of doctors, nurses, and other people directly involved.
They highlighted chaotic conditions, lack of necessities, and concerns about the education and experience of deployed nurses and doctor’s assistants.
The COA confirmed conducting an extra investigation but refused to disclose any details about the content.
The agency only said that Arts en Zorg “can execute the offer correctly” and that contract parties are responsible for organizing healthcare at the asylum shelters and for the healthcare staff.
However, sources indicate that Arts en Zorg won the bid at such a low price that it raised concerns about the quality of medical care provided to asylum seekers.