Dutch doctors begin judicial process against government

(NETHERLANDS) The National Union of Family GPs in the Netherlands (Landelijke Huisartsenvereniging) has begun a legal process against the centre-right government under Prime Minister Balkenende, for its continued erosion of healthcare. Socialist Party member of parliament, and former doctor, Henk van Gerver has spoken out in favour of the process and against the policy of Health Minister Klink that would see 68 million worth of economising measures, and doctors acting as a bureaucratic gateway for the health system. Visits to doctors’ surgeries have risen rapidly as patients try to avoid the dramatic price increases in hospital treatment and where insurance company claims are increasingly being turned down with patients having to make up the extra costs themselves.

The doctors are no doubt taking action to reduce the amount of bureacratic paperwork (often cutting into work by up to 8 extra hours) and unecessary stresses. This effort, though not specifically concerned with costs to patients, is another visible rejection of the governments’ attempts to cut health spending by means of privatisation and increasing workloads.

Since the introduction of new health policy measures last year, including fines for people who aren’t insured, the cost of health insurance has rocketed beyond the affordability of many people.

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