This letter is still relevant as the decision has been postponed (Pain Hope editorial)
Nijmegen June 30, 2023
Honourable members of the House of Representatives,
Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives,
In the foreseeable future, your House will discuss State Secretary Van Ooijen's decision not to include vaccination against the disease shingles in the National Vaccination Programme. The State Secretary believes that there is insufficient budget available within the national budget to invest in a National Shingles Vaccination Programme.
The Partnership for Pain Patients with One Voice has taken note of this proposed decision with disappointment. We call on your House to urge the State Secretary to make every effort to find sufficient financial resources for this vaccination program and to give a new assignment to the National Healthcare Institute for this purpose.
The Partnership The Partnership for Pain Patients with One Voice is of the opinion that the following relevant data should be taken into account:
1. Saving medical costs per year for almost 100,000 people, since those people will no longer visit the doctor for their pain complaints that have lasted for years. This means a significant burden on the GP.
2. By withholding the vaccine from the target group, the State Secretary is knowingly causing long-term pain to a large number of elderly people. As advocates for people with chronic pain, we know better than anyone that your life can become hell. We want to prevent this in the target group for this vaccine.
3. The target group of people who are eligible for vaccination largely consists of many thousands of volunteers and informal caregivers. These volunteers and informal caregivers form an important component of the foundation on which society remains afloat. Due to the current staff shortage, many social organizations are already and will continue to rely on volunteers and informal caregivers in the coming years. It is the responsibility of all of us, including our government, to ensure that the potential of volunteers and informal caregivers is maintained. This responsibility is partly fulfilled by appropriate care for the target group of a shingles vaccination program. Making a vaccine available is an implementation of the prevention advocated in the IZA.
Mw. I.L. Thomassen-Hilgersom, chairwoman Pain Patiënts with One Voice