Free choice of doctors petition sent to Senate

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Representatives of about 70 civil society organizations, including the Consumer Association, health insurers and Abvakabo FNV, delivered a manifesto to the Senate on Monday making their concerns known about the legislative proposal that limits the free choice of doctor.

According to these organizations, the Dutch consumer will be the victim of the this proposal. They fear that the power in healthcare is increasingly in the hands of the four major private health insurers.

This legislative proposal states that next year insurers will only have to pay for medical specialists with which they have a contract. Currently if a patient goes to a therapist which is not contracted by the health insurer, about 80 percent of the bill will be reimbursed. After the amendment, the health insurer will not have to reimburse anything should the patient choose a different medical specialist than the insurer.

The petition for the preservation of free choice of doctor has already been signed by nearly 160 thousand Dutch people. The First Chamber's debate on the legislative proposal, which started yesterday, will continue today.

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