Doctors to shut down work on May 28
Citizens across the country will be unable to see their general practitioners (GPs) on Tuesday, May 28 because the doctors will be attending a meeting in Odense concerning the GPs' current labour conflict with the national association of health authorities, Dansk Regioner.
Only patients in need of critical aid will be assisted, as the roughly 3,600 members of the doctors union, Praktiserende Lægers Organisation (PLO), meet to discuss the situation after the government intervened in the conflict last Friday, escalating the conflict.
“We’ll ensure that there is an emergency crew available as part of our collective bargaining agreement with the regions,” Henrik Dibbern, the chairman of PLO, told Ritzau news service. “That means that the people who call their GPs will be informed which doctor to call, if it is an emergency case.”
PLO expects between 6,000 and 7,000 participants to attend the meeting in late May as the GPs' clinical personnel have also been invited.
According to PLO, over 100,000 patients have signed a petition pleading with the government to re-enter into contract negotiations with the GPs that collapsed last November 8.
Subsequently, Dansk Regioner decided to discontinue the collective bargaining agreement on May 3, causing the GPs to threaten to charge anywhere between 300 and 900 kroner for a consultation beginning on September 1.
Danske Regioner, on the other hand, rejected the notion that Danes would be charged for consultations beginning in September, pointing to the six-month notice that GPs must give as stated in the collective bargaining agreement.
But the GPs don’t agree with that interpretation now that the agreement has been discontinued.
“The bargaining agreement expires on September 1 this year and with it all the obligations that are in the agreement, including the bit about six-month notice,” Dibbern told Politiken newspaper.
It is up to the individual doctor whether to give up their contributor number, (ydernummer), the number that GPs are allocated when their practice is subsidised by the state. Dibbern said that about 90 percent of GPs will give up their ydernummer and thus charge for their services.
And the GPs appear to have the winds of public support at their backs. On the Facebook page, ‘Bevar familielægen' (‘preserve the family doctor’), over 205,000 Danes have so far given their support to the GPs.