NOS News•today, 5:16 PM
The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) does not give permission for the takeover of two general practices in Bergen op Zoom by general practitioner chain Co-Med. According to the NZa, Co-Med cannot guarantee that sufficient general practitioners will remain active at the practices.
“The general practitioners are planning to retire and Co-Med has not made it sufficiently concrete how care for patients will be continued after January 1,” the NZa said. “If there is no guarantee that there are enough general practitioners, this entails risks for the continued care of patients. This rejection is due to the fact that two previous takeover plans did not go well.”
For example, a practice in Reusel was closed immediately in May because the chain was unable to find a suitable doctor. The Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate also received complaints about other Co-Med branches in Brabant. These were often about accessibility or whether a practice closes for a day if no staff is available.
The NZa says it is now contacting the largest health insurer in Bergen op Zoom. This must ensure that there is enough GP care for people in the region. “The insurer must mediate patients to another GP when necessary, in consultation with the practice owners who also have a responsibility in this.”