In a public clinic in Pijnacker (South Holland), the phone is often not answered during the day, according to a study by the Inspectorate for Health and Youth Welfare. Even in an emergency, patients didn’t always have someone on the line. The inspection body speaks of “serious deficiencies leading to significant patient safety risks”.
Centric Health Zuid-Holland, the company behind the practice, must now improve accessibility between 8am and 6pm in the short term. If this does not happen, new steps will be taken.
According to the examination, “it was not possible to contact the clinic by phone on several occasions during the training hours.” This was also the case in emergency situations, where the patient must be able to visit at short notice or the doctor must be able to be with the patient within fifteen minutes.
Nor did this practice replace emergency general practitioners during training hours in order. This is well arranged for emergency care during evening and weekend shifts.
The general practice on the site admits in a letter from the end of March that it does not always go well with the provision of care. “In recent months, we have not been able to provide the care that we deserve and that we advocate for. There have been times of closure. Not only is this unfortunate, it should not be and it is not allowed.”
The report also points to a national shortage of general practitioners. I mentioned that in the next six years, 30 percent of general practitioners will retire news hour early this month. 60 percent of GP practices stop a patient, according to research by ABN Amro.
Centric Health and other retail chains have been on the rise in recent years. They are often backed by investors. In January, the Dutch Inspectorate and Health Care Authority decided to investigate the companies after a slew of reports. This study is expected to be completed before the summer holidays.
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