Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 10:31
Over 65% can't choose their doctor
Patients are experiencing difficulties registering with another doctor. According to research from patients' federation NPCF, one in three patients actually succeed in finding a new doctor. Often, the wanted general practitioner will not accept new patients, or the patient lives in the wrong postal code area. Director Wilna Wind of the NPCF believes that transfer should be simple, provided that the doctor is 15 minutes away or less. "It's a stubborn problem that has been there for years. Something really must be done against it. A patient should be able to choose the doctor he wants." Of the 11,000 patients asked, 35 percent did not have sufficient trust in their doctor. Three in ten do not agree with the general practitioner. In total 11,000 want a different doctor. An NPCF spokesperson says that general practitioners sometimes have to sign off on their patients' transfer, despite the concept of free choice. "If you have a disagreement with your general practitioner, he's probably not too excited about being helpful. But you do have to take your medical file with you to the new general practitioner." The spokesperson posits that some patients may not have the courage to ask this of their doctors. Those asked think that general practitioners make agreements among themselves about the transfers. One patient fears that the only way to get a new doctor is to move house. General satisfaction about general practitioners was not bad according to the research. Patients give their doctors a mark of eight out of ten. Almost half says that everyone can hear what is said at the counter, sometimes even up to the waiting room, however. The privacy in the doctor's office is contested by the research participants.