Ebola in the Netherlands, 2014–2015: Costs of preparedness and response

A.W.M. Suijkerbuijk, C.M. Swaan, M.J.J. Mangen, J.J. Polder, A. Timen, W.L.M. Ruijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The recent epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) resulted in countries worldwide to prepare for the possibility of having an EVD patient. In this study, we estimate the costs of Ebola preparedness and response borne by the Dutch health system. An activity-based costing method was used, in which the cost of staff time spent in preparedness and response activities was calculated based on a time-recording system and interviews with key professionals at the healthcare organizations involved. In addition, the organizations provided cost information on patient days of hospitalization, laboratory tests, personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the additional cleaning and disinfection required. The estimated total costs averaged €12.6 million, ranging from €6.7 to €22.5 million. The main cost drivers were PPE expenditures and preparedness activities of personnel, especially those associated with ambulance services and hospitals. There were 13 possible cases clinically evaluated and one confirmed case admitted to hospital. The estimated total cost of EVD preparedness and response in the Netherlands was substantial. Future costs might be reduced and efficiency increased by designating one ambulance service for transportation and fewer hospitals for the assessment of possible patients with a highly infectious disease of high consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935–943
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • CARE
  • Cost analysis
  • Costs
  • EVD
  • Ebola
  • Financial analysis
  • Netherlands
  • Outbreak


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