Doctors strike, but emergency care available

25th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Nearly all doctors across the Netherlands started a three-day strike on Wednesday in protest against planned reforms to the healthcare system.

25 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — Nearly all doctors across the Netherlands started a three-day strike on Wednesday in protest against planned reforms to the healthcare system.

Doctors association LHV said 90 percent of the nation's 8,000 GPs were on strike. It means almost every surgery is closed to normal appointments.

But every striking doctor has made arrangements with colleagues to ensure necessary healthcare in emergencies and for terminal or chronically ill patients.

Patients can also be referred to special emergency call centres or family doctor posts that are on duty.

Doctors association LHV said the 112 emergency number and hospital emergency departments will also be available for acute medical care.

GPs fear lost income under plans from Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst forcing them to negotiate with insurers next year over funding for surgery costs.

If the Liberal VVD refuses to amend his plans, doctors have warned they will go out on strike again in two weeks time.

The reforms are part of a scheme to implement a one-for-all basic healthcare insurance package in 2006.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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