Directors of Co-Med play down strong criticism of GP chain: ‘Exaggerated’ | Interior

Two directors of the commercial GP chain Co-Med respond in an interview NRC to all criticism of the company. For example, patients who called the emergency line would have received the voicemail. “That whole accessibility piece is exaggerated,” the directors say to the newspaper on Friday. They state that not only their company, but Dutch GPs in general are facing problems.

Director and Co-Med founder Guy Schulpen (51) told the newspaper on Friday that there is “more ambition than just a commercial interest” behind the company. The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) said earlier that it has an eye “for concerns that exist around the management of Co-Med” and is investigating the chain together with the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ).

Closed doors and no doctors. Since several GP practices were taken over by commercial company Co-Med, many patients complain that things have only gotten worse. Also against this site said dissatisfied patients about poor accessibility for making appointments and long-term absent doctors.

‘Complicated concept’

“Look, there have been complaints, but accessibility is a very complicated concept. What is the standard?” Schulpen says to the newspaper about the investigation by the regulators. ,, That GP care, it not only squeaks and creaks, it is already partly collapsing. When that happens, it means the end of the gatekeeper function. The bankruptcy of our system.”

Schulpen cites the Enschede region in NRC, where the practices are “full”. “Meanwhile, the general practitioners in the Enschede region are arguing with newcomers like us. They complain about competition while thousands of people are eager to be helped. Then there is a sense of urgency.”

According to Schulpen, the criticism of his company is like looking at “the leaky tap in the garden, while elsewhere the dikes are breaking”. IGJ and NZa said at the beginning of this year that they would investigate chains such as Co-Med because “there is a risk that the quality, availability and accessibility of care” will come under pressure.

Since its founding in 2019, Co-Med has acquired thirty practices across the country, NRC reports. In 2022, the company made a profit of 1.2 million euros on a turnover of 9.3 million.