Confusion over emergency healthcare

8th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — People in need of urgent medical assistance are often sent to the wrong doctor, an investigation by the Dutch Patient and Consumers Federation (NPCF) has revealed.

8 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — People in need of urgent medical assistance are often sent to the wrong doctor, an investigation by the Dutch Patient and Consumers Federation (NPCF) has revealed.

One out of every five patients are sent to the on-call GP's clinic when they should have been directed to the hospital's emergency department. Conversely, 10 percent of patients seek help at the emergency department when they should have gone to the GP.

The federation's study — which was being presented to Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst on Tuesday — said 170,000 people annually visit the incorrect doctor for urgent healthcare, news service NOS reported.

The NPCF urged for the creation of one national telephone number on which expert medical staff will assess where patients should go. It also said GPs and the office or clinics for on-call GPs should be located in the same place, allowing for instant transferals.

Research has also indicated that patients and medical staff incorrectly assume they know where patients should go. Both GPs and emergency department personnel claim to be specialists in urgent medical care.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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