It is about time that patients’ organisations started calling on doctors to be more available, not only via the telephone but also person to person.

Dutch doctors have long had the reputation for refusing to prescribe drugs in the first place – that whole ‘pain has a purpose’ idea – but now it seems that getting to see or simply speak to your GP after 3pm is nigh on impossible.
The reason? First of all you have to get past the doctor’s assistant.
The doctor’s assistant seems to have acquired a medical degree and will now demand to know the intricacies of your complaint before you can go any further. Then she will happily advise you to swill out your ears with olive oil to loosen the wax or buy nose drops. Anything to keep you from actually turning up at the surgery.
And if you actually get as far as making an appointment, it will probably be for next week because the doctor has so many patients that any surgery time is already booked up.
As for home visits, you have to be on your deathbed before your GP will deign to put his or her nose past your front door. That puking child with a 40 degree fever has to be dressed and brought to the surgery to happily infect all the other patients.
No wonder the doctor’s assistant didn’t want you to turn up in the first place.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation