AFTER a decade of debate, the Dutch introduced a new healthcare system in 2006.
It is based on the principle of compulsory health insurance regulated by the government, which monitors quality and ensures that everyone gets healthcare free of charge at the point of delivery.
In 2008-09 the Dutch system was voted the best in the developed world by independent assessors.
However, more recently it has been bedevilled by cost problems.
Insurance premiums may not be related to health status or age but companies are compensated for taking on higher-risk categories, such as elderly or chronically ill people.
Funding for all short-term healthcare is 50pc from employers, 45pc from the insured person and 5pc by the Dutch government.
Children under 18 are covered for free.
Those on low incomes get help to pay their insurance.
Ireland may be about to merge some features of the German system into the planned new scheme, with employers not being hit for big healthcare contributions.