The European Commission has approved a €23 million Dutch scheme to support certain providers of social support and health care in offering services at home during the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “ “The current coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on our health care systems. There is a significant risk of overloading our hospitals. The €23 million Dutch scheme approved today allows aid for providers of social support services, health care service and youth care by facilitating remote care via internet applications. This will contribute to making sure that hospital services can continue being offered to all those in need.”
The Dutch support measures
The Netherlandsnotified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a €23 million scheme to support Dutch providers of social support services, health care and youth carein offering services at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The support, in the form of direct grants, will allow providers to purchase, lease, licence and implement e-health applications. E-health applications contribute to the continuity of support and remote care for patients that are now staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak. The measure aims at avoiding that social support, health care and youth care providers are confronted with liquidity problems due to a significant increase in demand of services at home, requiring investments in e-health applications, without a corresponding increase in financial support. With the measure, the providers are able to continue supporting those in need, incentivising health care services at home and replacing the non-coronavirus related health care treatments that are usually provided from hospitals to home care, as requested by the Dutch government.
The Commission found that the scheme notified by the Netherlands is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the maximum aid amount does not exceed €100,000 per undertaking.
The Commission therefore concluded that the Dutch measure will contribute to managing the economic impact of the coronavirus in the Netherlands.It is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.
On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules.