Memorandum: Belgian general practitioners want a strong and central first line in the organization of care

Memorandum: Belgian general practitioners want a strong and central first line in the organization of care
Memorandum: Belgian general practitioners want a strong and central first line in the organization of care

One more memorandum? Rather than simply drawing up a list of demands addressed to the future government, the Belgian group of general practitioners (GBO/Cartel) – union of general practitioners gave the floor to young general practitioners to talk about their daily difficulties, calling on them to provide concrete solutions .

Access to primary care at the heart of Walloons’ concerns

For his part, the president of the GBO, Paul De Munck took advantage of World General Practitioners Day on May 15, 2024 to highlight the progress made. “We are talking more and more about general medicine, which has become the pillar of a strong first line. And in November, the general medicine colleague will organize its first congress, in Namur.

The president applauded the structuring of the first line, Proxy Health in Wallonia and the Integrated Social Health Plan in Brussels, even if the memorandum calls for speeding up their implementation.

Paul De Munck also approved the creation of INAMI quotas. “We also have sub-quotas: in the quota of French-speaking doctors, we have a percentage of 43% who will be intended for general medicine. This is not enough: even Minister Vandenbroucke recommends moving to 51%, but it is a first step.”

The creation of the Master in Medicine at UMons and the Master in General Medicine at UNamur is good news. We hope to have an effect on shortage areas, and possible savings for students.”

And finally, the GBO ended with the release of the budget obtained via Minister Vandenbroucke, citing among other things, the 2.26 million € for areas in shortage, the 2.44 million for the overall medical file, 16.7 million euros for general practitioner support staff, or 9.1 million allocated to doubling the availability fee for on-calls.

What is the weight of health in the Belgian state budget?

A six-point memorandum

  1. Place health as a transversal concern in all public policies. The GBO asks the federal state and federated entities that health be in all policies, adopting an intersectoral approach, taking into account the health consequences of public policies. He wants the implementation of primary prevention campaigns, at school, and accountability of employers in long-term disabilities.
  2. Guarantee financial accessibility to care and decent income for general practitioners. The GBO calls for a simplification and standardization of procedures, as well as a reform of institutions such as the CPAS, Fedasil and the AMU; a system of negotiations to force companies to market drugs at their fair price; a multi-year budgetary approach to deal with the aging of the population and the needs for innovation; an assessment of the means (amount allocated to the GP’s service, necessary equipment, etc.)
  3. Revalorizing general medicine within a strong first line of care, thanks to care pathways that are as simple as possible, in a system that does not rely on competition but on complementarity. With a reduction in the administrative burden.
  4. A fundamental reform of care in general medicine, as provided for in the medical-mutualist agreement. The result is an increase in fees, particularly in less populated areas in the south of the country, for the most difficult hours (evenings and nights).
  5. Computerized management of health data, serving everyoneby continuing to build secure transmission platforms between different healthcare providers, and thanks to a single shared global computerized medical file (including for nursing homes, school medicine and the ONE).
  6. Consultation and financing of medical unions The work of union structures like the GBO/Cartel must be valued, and medical unions must be more involved in regional consultations.
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