Over 65 pct. of family doctors protest health insurers

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No image availableNL Times

The group of doctors who directed the manifesto "Everything must change" to Minister Edith Schippers of Public health last month, thinks further contract negotiations with health insurers are meaningless as they do not listen. The manifesto is supported by 7,418 of the total 11,345 house doctors in the Netherlands - 65 percent.

At 23:58 on Thursday night the doctors performed a protest action at the headquarters of Health Insurers Netherlands in Zeist, NOS reports.

According to the manifesto, insurers have to much power when dictating the healthcare payment arrangements. The competition between the doctors distorts their practices. The doctors have three demands. Remove doctors from the Competition Act and make "cohesion through cooperation" the guiding principle in primary care. Cooperate and negotiate only on equal basis - so no more negotiations with insurers. And show confidence in the ability of the profession.

Last year there was a lot of discussion about doctors closing contracts with insurers. Many doctors initially refused to sign the contracts. A survey by the National Association of General Practitioners showed then that many GPs did not dare to refuse. 92 percent of the doctors who finally signed the contract are now dissatisfied with it.

According to the doctors, they have a weak negotiating position. GPs are not allowed to negotiate together or allow someone else to do it for them, which make them stand alone at the contract negotiations. That puts them in a difficult position. Contracts sometimes contain points that the doctors object against, but if they do not sign, the insurer with who they have a contract does not compensate them for certain procedures.