Dutch minister incurs wrath of GPs

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The National Association of General Practitioners is angry with Health Minister Ab Klink’s measures to reduce the rising costs of family doctors.

12 September 2008

THE NETHERLANDS -- The National Association of General Practitioners (LHV) says it is no longer prepared to talk to Health Minister Ab Klink as they are angry about measures he has taken to reduce the rising costs of family doctors.

The minister says the cost of consultations exceeded 2007’s budget by EUR 124 million, in part because the number of registered patients increased. Things are heading in the same direction this year. He is planning to save EUR 83 million by halving the fee for repeated prescriptions, from EUR 4.50 to EUR 2.25.
The LHV says the minister has created the unfair impression that family doctors have been earning too much in recent years. The association says it will be consulting its members about its next move.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

1 Comment To This Article

  • historytechdoc posted:

    on 12th September 2008, 13:18:38 - Reply

    The family doctor is not the best place for Ab Klink to try and save on filling doctor required prescriptions. Doctors will simply not want to issue prescriptions on repeated meds and will start switching prescriptions types between orders to be paid fairly, so that the number of repeats will be needlessly reduced. Such a end-run process will ad to the overall cost of medical prescriptions, since alternative scripts will most likely not be to generic ones. Of course, Klink would have the option to maintain the €4,50 fee as long as GPs either continued to prescribe generics or switched to one of them. This way everyone should gain.

    Pharmacy and apothecary owners are the ones who should be held to closer scrutiny for repeated prescription cost savings.

    One way of doing this would be to require primary physicians to inform their patients that they also have the choice to use such organizations as www.nationale-apotheek.nl that is endorsed by at least one health insurance provider named OHRA. At nationale-apotheek.nl patients are refunded from €2,00 to €2,50 per initial as well as repeated prescriptions.

    Obviously, if this organization can provide apothecary services at a discount there should be room for reducing their apparently high profit margins as well.