Dutch medical specialists go slow for a day

7th October 2010, Comments 0 comments


Medical specialists at 70 Dutch hospitals are working Sunday shifts on Thursday in protest at plans to curb their salaries. Non-urgent operations have been cancelled and many outpatient clinics are closed for the day.

Outgoing Health Minister Ab Klink wants the specialists to become regular hospital employees. Half of the 12,000 specialists are currently independent subcontractors and have the final say about the treatment given to their patients. In the minister's plan, these specialists would lose this independent competence, the hospital's board of governors becoming accountable in last instance for medical decisions.

The specialists said that implementation of the plan would lower the quality of health care. Their one-day protest may be repeated if the effect of today's action requires it, a spokesperson of the specialists' action committee told daily De Telegraaf. A side effect of the minister's plan is that the average income of specialists would drop from 250,000 euros to 180,000 euros, but the action committee said the main worry is the risk of quaility loss.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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