As the Chief Medical Officer (since 2012) of Aruba’s national health insurer, UO AZV, Lex de Jong (1973) is responsible for health care policy, contracting, quality control and sending patients abroad when needed. He is a strong believer in establishing long term relationships that will keep on adding value while containing the costs of health care. In his mind, most negotiations are about finding ways to help your partner grow with you, instead of a zero sum game. For the creativity needed to achieve this, he can rely on his triple mixed back ground: education (Medicine & Health Economics and Policy), cultural background (rational and cold Holland & passionate and warm Brazil) and profession (insurers & providers). In Aruba, this has led to several changes in how health care is being delivered, thus improving the quality of care while saving costs that is used to reward better quality and mitigate the increasing demand. The last 5 years of medical referrals have to Colombia have had a major impact on the way both the sending and the receiving party have developed.
In his Dutch years, Lex has worked at both health insurers and as representative for health care providers. This is where his interest in changing the relationship between insurer and provider came about. At GGZ Nederland (the Dutch association of mental health care hospitals) he was active in the national development of the DRG system, and helping develop the national policy on how more commercial incentives could be used to improve the various health care markets mental health care is being delivered to. When rules changed significantly in this 6 billion dollar sector, he set up and implemented an intensive 3 year program to support the health care institutions that held a 90% market share. His final task before moving to Aruba in 2012 resulted in a multi year agreement between the Dutch government, health insurers and health care providers to guarantee and stabilize both financial and quality driven growth in the sector.
In that same period Lex was the chairman of the board of supervisors of Van Tromp Foundation, a charity that focuses on medical education that is linked the city of Rotterdam. Lex is a loyal supporter of the city’s soccer team and current national champion Feyenoord. This is also the city where Lex received most of his education at the faculties for Medicine and for Health Care Policy & Management, both part of the Erasmus University. He also spent 1 year Brazil, doing research at the medical school FAMEMA in Marília, São Paulo. This helped him see and understand the Latin way of doing things.
In order to pay his way through university, Lex has worked as a tutor in courses like ancient Greek and Latin, math and physics, as a night watch in an home for patients suffering from Korsakov syndrome and as a repo man. This taught him about how skills and knowledge are developed, and to deal with complex people and stressful situations. He has a great girlfriend and 2 fantastic daughters.