general practitioners will not write referrals afterwards

Helmie Groennews, Practice news

Unfortunately, it often happens that patients make an appointment with a specialist in the hospital of their own accord and subsequently request a referral from their GP. The GP is then legally not allowed to write a referral. The general practitioner has the legal task of being a gatekeeper for care in the hospital. This means that the GP, in consultation with the patient, only refers to the specialist if there is an indication for this.

Healthcare in the Netherlands is a precious commodity in two respects: valuable but also expensive. In order to keep this care available for a long time, the general practitioner’s task is to provide general practitioner care where possible and to refer to expensive specialist care if necessary. Only specialist care on referral from the general practitioner is reimbursed by the insurer, with the exception of emergency care. Specialists are not allowed to provide or declare care to the insurer if there is no referral from the general practitioner. If they do so, it will be at their own expense or that of the patient. The costs are often yours to bear.

Because not everyone is aware of this arrangement and to avoid disappointment, we would like to clearly inform all our patients that general practitioners will not write referrals afterwards.