90pc of family doctors on strike
26 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Nine out of 10 doctors in the Netherlands are observing the work stoppage on the second day of industrial action, the doctors association LHV said on Thursday.
26 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — Nine out of 10 doctors in the Netherlands are observing the work stoppage on the second day of industrial action, the doctors association LHV said on Thursday.
The three-day strike by the country's 8,000 family doctors started on Wednesday in protest at the government's reform of the healthcare system.
The LHV claims reforms give health insurers too much power to decide on the quality of treatment patients receive and will cut the income of GPs significantly.
Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst has countered by claiming family doctors will not suffer any financial loss and that the reforms will make healthcare more efficient and cost-effective.
The LHV said on Thursday morning 90 percent of family doctors have answered the call to strike on both Wednesday and Thursday. The last day of the strike is Friday.
Almost all family doctor surgeries are closed and they are not answering telephone calls from patients. Emergency cover is being provided by hospitals and the ambulance service, the LHV said.
It was reported on Thursday that patients who visit a hospital during the strike for non-critical treatment risk losing their health insurance no-claim bonus.
Under the scheme introduced this year, people receive up EUR 250 back from their insurer if they do not claim for health costs during the year. Visits to family doctors do not impact the no-claim bonus.
The LHV and Hoogervorst expect to get back to the negotiating table after the strike.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news