'Historic’ healthcare agreement signed, except by GPs
Most parties in the healthcare sector have signed the new Integrated Healthcare Agreement –– except for general practitioners. The National General Practitioners Association expressed concern about several points of the agreement, according to the NOS.
Many general practitioners earlier rejected the healthcare agreement, saying it fell short of promises made by politicians and health insurers. For example, they did not feel the agreement allowed them adequate time to spend with patients or enough resources –– including staff –– to do their jobs, according to the NOS.
General practitioners hoped for a more concrete agreement that is enforceable if necessary. Tensions within The Hague and the healthcare sector have been on the rise due to this disagreement, according the NOS.
The Integrated Healthcare Agreement was touted by the Ministry of Health as a step toward keeping healthcare affordable and accessible. It was signed by the district and nursing care organization, health insurers, the GGZ, the Patient Federation of the Netherlands, the Association of Dutch Municipalities and the Association of Hospitals, the NOS reports.
“In recent months, all parties have worked very hard to reach an agreement...These negotiations did not always go smoothly and some parties still have concerns about implementation. I understand those concerns, but have every confidence that we can embark on this new course with the signatories.” said Public Health Minister Ernst Kuipers in a release from the Ministry of Health. He added that the agreement was a "starting point."