The quality of healthcare is under pressure, which is why politicians must quickly make sharp choices and set priorities.

This is the opinion of the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), one of the most important bodies that advise the cabinet.

According to the council, the costs of care could almost triple in the next 40 years.

Healthcare now costs about 6,000 euros per Dutch person, in 2060, according to the WRR, this will be about 16,000 euros.

By that time we will spend not 13 percent, but about a quarter of the total economy (gross domestic product) on healthcare.

This is partly due to an aging population.

"And then one in three people will have to work in healthcare, compared to one in seven now. We then have to use almost our entire prosperity growth for the rising healthcare costs."

In order to allow more people to work in care and to limit staff shortages as much as possible, politicians could ensure that more people from abroad come to the Netherlands to work in care here.

Tax measures and a good work-life balance can also help to make the profession more attractive, according to the WRR.

'Preparing society for scarcity in healthcare'

The council warns that there is no longer any possibility of postponement on a few subjects.

"So society must be prepared for increasing scarcity in care and the need for choices."

The WRR believes that a "collective core" of care should continue in any case: long-term care for the elderly, youth care and mental health care.

If care falls outside the scope of this, people should contribute more themselves.

Healthcare is about more than just money, the report emphasizes.

Due to the extensive attention to the financial side, the quality and accessibility of, for example, youth care and mental health care have "gone severely below par".

The Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ) does not agree with the WRR's analysis. In the eyes of chairman Ad Melkert, the advice amounts to a call to cut spending, which he finds disconcerting.