Doctors to go on three-day strike
20 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutch doctors go out on a three-day strike from 25 May in protest against a new funding system paving the way for healthcare reforms planned from 2006.
20 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — Dutch doctors go out on a three-day strike from 25 May in protest against a new funding system paving the way for healthcare reforms planned from 2006.
A large number of surgeries will close during the strike — which will be preceded with a nationwide strike on 24 May — but doctors will be available to treat seriously ill patients.
Doctors association LHV also said the 112 emergency number and hospital emergency departments will be available for acute medical care.
It said GPs are acting with the "due care" to ensure healthcare is guaranteed to those who need it. Doctors are legally bound to such guarantees.
The Dutch patients and consumer federation NPCF has warned it will strictly monitor whether doctors are meeting their legal requirements. If regulations are breached, the NPCF said it will take legal action.
Insurance association ZN has also criticised the actions of the nation's 8,000 GPs.
The industrial action comes after Health Minister Han Hoogervorst refused to yield to LHV demands to boost funding by EUR 150 to 175 million to ensure adequate family healthcare.
Hoogervorst wants to push through a new funding system to necessary for the introduction of a new base insurance package next year.
The new system will replace the present ziekenfonds public health insurance and private insurance.
Despite an agreement to raise registration fees, doctors are concerned that health insurers will have control over supplementary funding.
GPs will have to make individual agreements with insurers over funding for practice support and reforms such as diabetes treatment, solo surgeries in rural areas and healthcare for people in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news