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The Netherlands

Dutch General Practice Care

Key information on Dutch General Practice Care

1. on Dutch Health care
2. on comparison between 7 Commonwealth countries

Some aspects that set Dutch General Practice Care apart.

- Quality Improvement, Quality Assurance & Guidelines

The profession got fame through its National guidelines. A strong College teams up with the LHV in supporting high quality.

We have guidelines not only on clinical care but also on collaboration in primary care and with specialists, CME, practice accreditation etc.

- List size
Increasingly GPs (51%) work in group practices of three to seven GPs, 29% work in two-person practices and 20% work in a single-handed practice. Most GPs are independent entrepreneurs or work in a partnership. A small share of GPs are employed in a practice that is owned by another GP. A full-time working GP has a practice list of approximately 2300 patients. People contact their GP 5 x per year on average. For information on
- exact data on all health workers, etc. see
- the Dutch health system

- Gate keeping
A pivotal role in primary care and in the health care system in general is played by the GPs, because they function as gatekeepers. This gate keeping is almost unique when compared to other countries with SHI systems. It is one of the main characteristics of the system and denotes that hospital care and specialist care (except emergency care) is preferably only accessible through referral from the GP. All citizens are listed with a GP, mainly in their own neighbourhood.

- GP training
There are 8 universities/academic hospitals that offer the specialization in GP/FM. The Dutch Vocational training program takes three years; 2 years in general practice and one year of practice in acute- chronic- and psychiatric care.

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