Physicians think next Covid wave will catch Cabinet off-guard; Too little urgency
General practitioners believe that the Cabinet is doing too little to prepare the healthcare sector for a new revival of the coronavirus, various associations said in a letter to Health Minister Ernst Kuipers. The GPs miss the “urgency at the Ministry to take control” in plans the Minister shared last week.
The National General Practitioners Association and the Dutch Agency of General Practitioners, among others, worry that, like in previous coronavirus waves, the lack of healthcare staff in hospitals will mean that GPs need to pick up more care. That will put other care under pressure. According to the GPs, “clear choices must be made about what will no longer happen, and the government must communicate well about this. Because keeping everything in the air during high waves of contamination is simply not possible.”
The GPs also said that the Cabinet’s plans for, for example, monitoring patients at home are not yet sufficiently complete. According to them, the financing of a new coronavirus wave is also not in order. “The idea that dealing with a pandemic is now mainstream care and can be solved within current funding is totally unrealistic,” the letter writers said.
Earlier on Friday, GP associations raised concerns about the workload. Four in ten members of various professional associations said that the safety of patients is regularly or often jeopardized in GP care in a survey of 2,188 members. Support staff in GP care has too much administration to process, and employees experience “enormous regulatory pressure.”
Due to budget cuts, the aging population, and care postponed during the pandemic, GP care is “increasingly the point of contact for all problems,” the associations said. They will campaign on July 1 for a lower workload.
Reporting by ANP