General practitioners in Drenthe have been informed that they will be required to establish a list of patients under the age of sixty who are at higher medical risk sometime within the coming weeks. People who make the list, reportedly, will be among the first in the country eligible for a repeat Covid-19 shot in mid-September.
“An unnecessary extra administrative burden that ends up on our plate again,” said Assen general practitioner, Heleen Sijtsema, in conversation with RTV Drenthe. According to Sijtsema, the organization of Covid-19 shots should fall on the Municipal Health Service (GGD), rather than general practitioners.
Her sentiment is shared by many of her colleagues, who were reportedly not informed of the decision by Minister of Health, Ernst Kuipers, beforehand.
“These activities were not discussed with us in advance,” said Lamiek Westerhof, chairperson of Drenthe’s council of general practitioners, reports RTV Drenthe. He states that much of the request’s details are still murky. According to Westerhof, important aspects of the vaccination process, such as which shots will be made available to the eligible group, also have not yet been revealed to general practitioners.
According to RTV Drenthe, at least two national general practitioner groups have responded to Health Minister Kuipers’ request in the form of a ’motion of discontent’ (Motie van treurnis), announcing their dissatisfaction with the extra work they feel has been unjustly dumped on their shoulders.
“The National Association of General Practitioners must now stand up and say ‘no’,” said Sijtsema in response to the motion, as reported by RTV Drenthe.
How Health Minister Kuipers will respond to the motion, as well as the exact details of the request, will become clear in the coming weeks.