Doctors on Strike?

If you cannot find your house-doctor after July 27th, you should go to the emergency room at the hospital because the good doctor is on strike.

At least that’s the threat.

But knowing our medical professionals, especially the old timers, they will be there, working as usual, and ignoring the instructions of the younger, hot-headed anarchists, stirring the pot.

The house-doctors were asked to give up 5 ½% of their income.

Their income consists of a stipend from AZV, times the number of patients entrusted to their care, probably between 2,300 to 2,700 individuals, regardless how frequently they visit the doctor’s office. Obviously it’s a mixed bag of those who never visit, those who are there every day, with some in between who occasionally complain about something.

Through the pandemic, many doctors’ offices were closed. The medicine men and women were only available by phone or fax 🙂

However, AZV continued to pay their full stipends, while they were only partially working.

This in contrast to the specialists who did not work, since all elective treatments were postponed, and most of the hospital shut. The specialists who earn their keep by working, saw their income drop precariously, and thus they were left out of salary cuts.

But the house-doctors who got 100% pay through tough times, are now protesting the solidarity 5 ½ % reduction.

What do you think about that?

Sure, they are the forefront defense-liners, they are the people we turn to in need, but their refusal to show solidarity is odd.

The public will not like it.

Not all doctors will strike, and we thank those who won’t, your patients must mean something to you.

A few months ago, the Dutch government announced it will require budget cuts, 35M florins before the end of the year.

AZV met with all service providers, from therapists, to labs and pharmacies, and came up with a list of proposed structural changes, in fees and services. I am unclear if the list must go to parliament so that the AZV law may be changed, or the changes just mean adjusting the AZV budget, and distributing a memo with the new rules.

In any event, perhaps the legal department is the bottle neck, because DWJZ is seriously understaffed or overwhelmed, so nothing is moving fast enough.

Having received their instructions from the motherland, AZV is slowly moving on the mandate to change the way it does business. All cost-cutting strategies including patients’ monetary participation, collaboration with the BES islands’ medical establishments, treatment-alternatives to Colombia, all those are pending.

Yesterday, AZV encountered opposition from HAVA, Huisartsen Vereniging van Aruba. Which is frustrating, because all others understood cuts must be made, but for some mysterious reason the house-doctors feel they are special and thus exempt.

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July 24, 2020
Rona Coster