Doctors issue child care warnings

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Doctors fear they will no longer be able to refer youth to necessary specialists, once the cities take over the budget for youth care next year. At the same time the cities take control of youth care, the available budget is cut with 15 percent.

75 Percent of the physicians fear cities won't have an adequate budget for youth psychiatric care, according to a poll among the 875 members of the national doctors association (LHV). Psychiatric institutions are already turning children away in an attempt to prepare for the budget cuts next year. About 25 percent of the cities plan to work with a maximum number of referrals, 13 percent demand a physician ask permission from the City prior to making a referral, according to a poll by 'de Volkskrant' among the cities. A manual of the Association of the Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), stated a City official will always have to approve a referral of a child to a specialized institution. Physicians have the right to make referrals as they see fit, which State Secretary of Healthcare, Van Rijn, promised the members of parliament would remain intact. However several cities, among whom the City of Helmond, are planning on having physician referrals assessed by a  pool of youth care experts. Next year a battle looms between city officials trying to carry out budget cuts in youth care and doctors, trying to insure their young patients get the necessary care.

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