Despite government attempts to reduce the administrative burden on general practitioners (GPs), it has only increased in recent years. Four out of five GPs say they spend more time on administration today than they did five years ago, and almost half of GPs are therefore considering quitting. This is according to a survey by the association Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (LHV), previously reported by EenVandaag.
About 2,296 took part in the survey, more than a quarter of the nearly 10,000 physicians who belong to the association. Two-thirds of them said administrative duties cost them more than one day a week. “It’s a whole day they can’t spend on patient care,” the LHV said. 87 percent of GPs feel this is too much time. To meet all the demands, 90 percent of them also incur additional costs, often by hiring a practice manager.
A very worrying development, according to the LHV. “There is already so much pressure on general practitioners. And then we see from the survey how much time they spend on paperwork,” board member Guus Jaspar told EenVandaag.
However, the GPs do not complain about the administrative tasks associated with practice management, which 83 percent feel are simply part of the job. The problem is the administrative tasks that arise from legislation, such as the obligation to prepare annual financial statements and establish a client council. Almost all of the family physicians surveyed say that these activities are not part of their profession and doubt their sense and necessity.
“Everyone hates it, and it is often completely unclear whether it helps and whether it is useful. General practitioners want to help people, and not fill out forms because others want something, “Jaspar said.
In a response to the survey, the Ministry of Health, Sport and Welfare claimed that attempts are being made to “reduce the regulatory burden, but that legislation and information provided by doctors are needed to know whether good quality work is being done,” Een Vandag reported.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times