The measure is full for over-requested GPs: “There is less time for good care, invest in prevention” | Antwerp
Antwerp/DeurneFor general practitioners and two certainty, the end is full after a year of pandemic and five waves. “Strengthen the first line and invest in prevention”, it sounds Thursday afternoon on the Arenaplein in Deurne. “General practitioner is a great profession, but a solution must be found for the administrative overload.”
The Antwerp East GP circle (HAKAO) and Medicine for the People Deurne formed one front on Thursday. And there’s a very good reason for that. “We are short of many hands,” says Dr. Heleen Aerts. “We work harder not to let our patients down. There is less time for good care. More and more colleagues are having a hard time keeping up.”
dr. Karen Scheers: “As a general practitioner, we try to make a difference by listening and being there during difficult moments in people’s lives. Not by being busy with certificates and sick notes. We’ve been questioning that for a long time now.”
According to Scheers, the recently decided phasing out of support for a secretarial assistant – after 5 years – will also hit smaller GP practices hard. Heleen Aerts sees that there is much to be gained by allocating money for prevention. “The contact tracing was a daily effort, but the test center in Antwerp was well organised. We can do this through the approach of the GP circle, which works much more locally and was able to scale up to size. We must now move away from crisis management and opt for strong local prevention centers. They can take on different roles to meet the health needs of citizens.”
Too few GPs
To this day concerned about the shortage in their profession. “That will lead to major problems in five years’ time. Measures must now be taken to get more doctors to become general practitioners.”
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