Thursday 29 September 2022

Angry family doctors feel taken for granted by health ministry: AD

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Family doctors are calling on colleagues to send an angry email to the health minister in protest about their role in the autumn Covid vaccination campaign, which they were not consulted about, the AD has reported.

Health minister Ernst Kuipers told doctors two weeks ago they ‘have committed’ to drawing up a list of people who qualify for a flu jab  so they can be invited for the first vaccination round, which will start next month.

Family doctors organisation LHV had already said it felt ‘ambushed’ by the letter and that much remained unclear around the execution of the plan. ‘The procedure is not clear, which means we do not know if family doctors will be able to carry this out’, the LHV said.

The doctors have now taken the protest a step further and are inundating the health ministry’s mail box with an email stating their objections.

‘Once again family doctors are being confronted with extra work without prior consultation in a period when they are trying to get some rest or are hard at work to compensate for the lack of staff to guarantee safe care,’ the AD quotes the email as saying.

Family doctor and protest initiators Nico Terpstra said the email had been sent thousands of times already.

‘We resent being ordered what to do. It is not in keeping with what is happening at the moment in practices all over the land. We are not under any obligation to do anything, we are not in the ministry’s pay so talk to us or things won’t work out,’ Terpstra said.

The doctors are calling on the minister to make sure ‘the right time lines and conditions’ are in place, including clarity over pay. ‘There have been many vaccination rounds where family doctors have been used as free assistants when the health boards payed doctors to the same job,’ Terpstra said.

The health ministry said in a reaction it is in talks with the LHV about the conditions surrounding the involvement of the family doctors of the vaccination campaign which is due to start on September 15.

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