March 12, 2019

Dutch doctors’ assistants victims of daily violence

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 10:51 am

According to the Dutch association for doctors’ assistants NVDA, some 62% of doctors’ assistants were faced with violence over the past two years, based on a survey among nearly a thousand members. Incidents included spitting, hitting, kicking, vandalism, being threatened with an ax, knife or firearm. and a host of verbal threats, such as ‘I’ll wait until you finish your shift’ over the phone. The NVDA says threats of all kinds are a daily occurrence from patients that are clearly frustrated about not being served as they expected to be served.

Only 11% of the doctors’ assistants involve the police in the threats. The reasons are the assistants don’t quite know if that’s something other assistants do or even how to react. Some measures being taken include making sure the support staff is behind a glass wall rather than at a reception counter. As well, it might help for patients to know what a doctors’ assistant actually does, possibly reducing the number of complaints as well since people often want to be treated fast enough as they have taken time work often and don’t want to wait.

I very much like my doctor’s office and my doctor. My only complaint is that the assistant (in my case often a receptionist with no medical training) asks me what the problem is, but then also starts giving me their opinion or asking me what I’ve done to alleviate the problem upon which I tell them that’s why I want to see a doctor. If I wanted to talk to someone unqualified I could also keep talking to myself or use Google, but of course, I don’t tell them that. As well, it’s well known that in the Netherlands, the receptionist and/or assistant are trying to dissuade people from seeing the doctor to keep waiting times down, but often this only helps create more frustration.

Any Dutch doctors, nurses, etc. in the house? Feel free to weigh in!


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September 11, 2013

People posing as doctors and doctors commit major fraud

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 9:45 am

People posing as doctors and people who have set up fictitious health care institutions have been defrauding Dutch health care insurers out of millions of euros by submitting false invoices for services never rendered.

The fraud is apparently childishly easy to commit using the personal codes of practicing physicians that have been ‘lending out’ the right to use their code to crooks for a piece of the action. However, the whole practice was uncovered when a woman in Rotterdam defrauding the system got caught using the code of a doctor who just happened to be in jail at the time. Some crooks have gone so far as to use the codes of doctors who are retired and even deceased.

According to just one health insurer who claims to have hundreds of these cases, this could be the biggest form of fraud in the entire country. The company responsible for handing out the codes does not do any checking after it a code has been given, making it easy to defraud health care institutions who are in fact responsible for reporting any fraudulent use of the codes.

It’s one thing for crooks to piggyback on the personal codes of doctors, which makes us point fingers at the total lack of security related to these codes, but it makes me really uncomfortable to know that doctors are actually joining in to this fraud to make some quick cash.


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May 6, 2013

Dutch doctor cartoon: tasteless, funny or who cares?

Filed under: Comics,Science by Orangemaster @ 5:17 pm

Doctor (‘Medicine man’): ‘Jambalayla, Jambayla’ (= nonsense words, nothing to do with cooking)
Patient: Thank you… I feel much better already.
Caption: It should be easier for foreign doctors to practice here.

I personally know doctors and nurses with perfectly good diplomas from Eastern European countries that cannot or could not find work in the Netherlands, as their diploma was either not recognised or highly devalued.

After 14 years in the Netherlands, a land that generally hates to be politically correct, I can imagine that this cartoon didn’t even raise an eyebrow for most people. I’m not saying I agree, but I do understand why people didn’t have a problem with it: it’s a ‘far-from-my-bed-show’, the Dutch equivalent of ‘it doesn’t really concern me’, after all the medicine man is just a caricature not a real person, someone would say.

However, I also understand why some people would be offended at the depiction of a tribal sounding African-like Black person portrayed as a quack. I just think the cartoon is not that great (Hein de Kort does have his moments), but it does have a racial slant that could have been avoided.

The media have enough Dutch doctor mishaps to report about. Just today a Dutch doctor hit the presses for unnecessarily removing a man’s prostate in Leiden (in Dutch). The man had the same name as someone else. ‘Jambalayla, Jambayla’ to you, too.

(Link to more info, in Dutch:

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October 15, 2009

The Dutch doctor is in via Twitter

Filed under: Dutch first,Health by Orangemaster @ 11:00 am

Family doctors Erik Jansen and Bart Brandenburg from Nijmegen have taken their pratice online and become the Netherlands’ first Twitter doctors. By following @tweetspreekuur you can ask questions about your health. They provide as much advice as they can, and will tell you to consult your own doctor or to call an emergency number if they think something is really wrong.

Of course, you can also get some privacy by getting a login at (type it in your search engine).

And I’m very happy the working stethoscope I bought for EUR 0,20 on Queen’s Day from a nurse this year was put to good use.

(Link: componence)

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July 6, 2009

Faith healer says: “Always consult a physician”

Filed under: Religion,Science by Branko Collin @ 8:51 am

When faith healer Jomanda took to the stage yesterday for one of her sessions in Bergen op Zoom, Noord Brabant, she had a big sign with her that said “Raadpleeg altijd een arts” (“Always consult a physician”), an odd move perhaps for somebody who believes she is a healing medium between this world and ‘God’. On her website she even claims that “doctors merely apply the bandages, only God heals.” Jomanda was recently cleared from charges (Dutch) of contributing to comedy actress Sylvia Millecam’s death.

Millecam had been struggling with breast cancer and had been avoiding traditional medicine. The alternative ‘healers’ she sought out suggested that she merely had a bacterial infection, after which she died. The case against Jomanda and two ‘alternative doctors’ was unique in that for the first time a court held it had the authority to address the care duty of somebody who was not a legal care giver. Indeed, the court seems to take this for granted (Dutch).

The court considered it proven that Jomanda had violated her care duty, but cleared her of the charges because Millecam had also sought regular help during the time she consulted the medium, and that the medium merely had a “comforting” influence, not a decisive one. The justice department is appealing.

(Photo by Mike Locke, some rights reserved)

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