Doctors face financial pressure to agree to electronic record plan

Health insurance companies are planning to give financial incentives to family doctors and pharmacists who encourage their patients to sign up for the new digital patient records system, the NRC reported at the weekend.


The paper bases its claim on internal documents from the organisation set up to facilitate the new system, the association of healthcare providers for communication, or VZVZ.
The new system replaces the controversial centralised digital records system which the upper house of parliament rejected last year over privacy concerns.

Voluntary

The lack of legislation means the new set-up, developed by doctors, hospitals, health insurers and partly funded by the government, must be voluntary.
According to the NRC, doctors and pharmacies who encourage 90% of their patients to sign up will get a financial reward. The VZVZ refused to comment, saying the details are still being worked out.
The NRC also says doctors and pharmacists who refuse to sign up to the system will eventually be excluded by health insurance companies, making it impossible for them to function.
Undesirable
Labour MP Lea Bouwmeester told the paper this is a ‘bizarre construction’. Although there are advantages to exchanging medical information about patients, ‘a financial stimulus is completely undesirable,’ she said. ‘The new system should not be forced on people.’
Health minister Edith Schippers gave assurances last year that health insurance companies will not have access to electronic records.
MPs are demanding a debate with the minister on the latest developments.
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