GPs will protest in The Hague next Friday. They demand more time for their patients, they want night and weekend shifts to be better organized and they also think the transition between care organizations really needs to be improved. According to the GPs, thirty percent of their time is now spent on ‘nonsensical care’.

    According to GP Lenneke Fleerakkers from Rijen, the problems that GPs are facing are related to ‘actually everything that gets stuck in other areas in healthcare’. “For example, mental health care or care for the elderly. A patient often comes to us because there is no room there. Then the GP can solve the problem. If you end up in a kind of crisis situation, something like this takes up a lot of time quite acutely, so that the rest of the day runs into a hundred.”

    “As a doctor you cannot say: it is five o’clock in the afternoon, I am going home.”

    But you cannot say ‘no’ to a patient who needs help. “It’s about someone who is sick or really needs help, so as a doctor you don’t have a lot of choice. You can’t say: it’s five o’clock in the afternoon, I’m going home.”

    Hiring more people to solve the problem is easier said than done. You first have to find those people and that is a problem for many sectors in this time of shortage on the labor market. Also in healthcare.

    According to Lenneke it is really two to twelve in some parts of the Netherlands. “There they have a huge shortage. There are really cities where it is very difficult to find a doctor at the moment, although that is not the same in every region.”

    “I don’t have very high expectations right away.”

    That is why Lenneke will travel to The Hague next Friday to make a cry for help. “But I don’t have very high expectations. We have campaigned more than once in the past twenty years that I am a GP. But maybe there will be more awareness. That the situation is really very difficult. I hope that politics will finally get through that if it does not function well with us, many other sectors in healthcare will also be affected.”