The Netherlands has a demand-driven health care system based on market mechanisms. However, the system is a hybrid between two potential situations: one in which healthcare insurance companies have a leading role, with consumers and patients choosing for the company that most suits them, and one in which patients have a leading role and select their favourite caregiver, whereby the insurance company has to follow. Current research concludes that the vast majority of patients are not able or even willing to choose, but instead place their trust in referring physicians and local hospitals. Additionally, many patients feel that they are not capable of making informed choices. If patients cannot or do not want to choose their healthcare providers, then one of the mainstays of a market-based health care system should perhaps be seriously re-evaluated.