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Dutch News
New police uniform is practical but a ''mishmash'': fashion writer 6/8/2014

The new Dutch police uniform featuring a cap, polo shirt and more fitted trousers was presented to the public on Friday
The new uniform is designed to make the police look tougher and more modern, police chief Gerard Bouman told Nos television. ''Every citizen will see straight away that they are police officers, that they are a modern police force, helpful and accessible, but tough and strong at the same time,'' Bouman said.
Instead of stiff, wide-legged trousers, police agents will wear more fitted trousers with side pockets. The white shirt makes way for a dark polo shirt with two yellow stripes. The shoes become ankle boots.
Fashion journalist and editor of Esquire magazine Arno Kantelberg told the Volkskrant, the uniform is a hotchpotch. ''Because the design is based on input from the wearers, the result is what you expect from design by committee: a mishmash that is no doubt more practical but which has no clear signature.''

Health insurance changes finalised

From 2016, health insurers will no longer have to pay towards the cost of treatment at hospitals and providers with which they do not have a contract, under a deal struck between ministers and three opposition parties.
At the moment, health insurers are required by law to cover 80% of the bill for non-contract care. At the same time, a third type of health insurance policy is being introduced which gives patients no choice about where they will receive all but front line medical services.
The changes have been agreed between ministers and three opposition parties: the D66 liberals and two minor Christian parties SGP and CU. Their support will ensure the legislation is passed in the upper house of parliament.
Patients will retain the right to choose their own doctor, dentist, physiotherapist and pharmacy.
Better care
The government believes it can cut healthcare spending by giving insurance companies more power to sign contracts with providers, which it believes will force down prices and improve services. The new agreement will give ‘better care for less money,’ health minister Edith Schippers said.
There are currently two types of health insurance available.
Patients with a natura policy are only supposed to use healthcare providers who have a contract with their health insurance company. If they use a different provider, they will have to pay part of the bill themselves. The restitution policy gives patients complete freedom of choice and is more expensive.
Four big health insurance companies control 90% of the Dutch market. Under the new system, they will be able to refuse to pay bills they consider too expensive or for care which is not up to scratch. But they will also have to maintain a varied choice for patients, taking religious beliefs and lifestyle into account.

Clothing industry revises children''s sizes

Dutch children are on average two kilos heavier than they were 12 years ago, and their waists are some 4 cm thicker, according to research institute TNO.
The new measurements have been worked into standard clothing sizes by the clothing industry institute Modint. Older children in particular are larger in girth but have not increased in average height, TNO said.

Councils call for delay on scrapping plastic bottle deposits

Dutch local councils want a delay in plans to scrap deposits on plastic bottles, saying there are too many uncertainties about the replacement plans, Nos radio said on Saturday.
Radio programme Argos said it has seen a concept letter from the local authorities association VNG to the environment ministry calling for a halt. The councils say there is a lack of clarity about the way plastic will be collected for recycling and want to delay the move to January 2016.
The ministry signed a deal with the VNG in 2012 paving the way for the end to the current deposit system on plastic bottles. MPs will debate phasing out deposits again on June 18.
Research published early April by environmental research group CE Delft said the cost analysis for scrapping the deposit system was wrong and that some costs associated with collecting deposit bottles were ‘systematically increased’.
The drinks and packaging industry lobbied hard to have the deposit system on bottles bigger than 0.5 litres scrapped, saying there would be major cost advantages.
Environmental groups also opposed the plan, saying scrapping deposits will reduce the number of bottles being recycled.
© DutchNews.nl

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