Thousands of general practitioners, doctor’s assistants and practice nurses are present at a manifestation on the Malieveld in The Hague on Friday afternoon. A little further on, the police had to intervene when protesters wanted to enter the Binnenhof.
Minister Ernst Kuipers (Public Health) was supposed to come to the demonstration on the Maleveld, but he could not come because of the overrun council of ministers. Hundreds of demonstrators then went to the Binnenhof to tell Kuipers.
The GPs protest against the high workload as a result of the many extra tasks they have been given in recent years.
The National Association of General Practitioners (LHV) thinks that between five thousand and ten thousand people will come to the manifestation, which lasts from 2 pm to 4 pm.
“It is important to be there with as many people as possible, so that Minister Kuipers and all other policymakers cannot ignore our signal,” says the LHV.
According to the interest group, the limit of what general practitioner care can handle has been reached. The general practitioners want concrete agreements to be made in the care agreements, so that changes actually take place in the coming years.
Confronting lyrics and purple crocodiles
Many protesters Friday are dressed in a white shirt. It lists the number of patients they care for, such as “202,000 patients alone at night.” Banners read “too much pain in primary care” and “I’m worried about tomorrow’s care.”
Signs read “Do you have a moment? We don’t!” and “Help the GP drowns”. Some people carry a purple crocodile with them, as a symbol of bureaucracy.
During the demonstration, Aard Verdaasdonk of the LHV calls on the waiting lists in youth care and hospitals to be resolved. “We are the gatekeeper. We would like to stay that way, but then the gate has to open.” The following is also sung: “We are going to Kuipers”.
A GP has recorded a video message from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. “Unlike Schiphol, healthcare cannot cancel flights.” David Baden, president of the Dutch Association of Emergency Medicine Doctors (NVSHA), praises the general practitioners and expresses his support for the practices. “We stand on the shoulders of giants.”
GPs have been given more tasks in recent years
According to the LHV, many of the agreements made earlier to relieve the burden on GP care have so far failed to materialize.
GPs have been given many extra tasks in recent years. Due to the waiting lists at hospitals and mental health care, patients still end up with their GP. In addition, all kinds of extra administrative tasks were added from the government and health insurers.