The Sudpresse and Mediahuis publications are reporting on Wednesday that, this coming spring, GPs will receive a report on their drug-prescription behaviour. The report is being prepared using health insurance data. It will determine GPs’ individual scores, on the basis of a number of indicators.
In the document, doctors will receive “an individual score” based upon 45 different indicators, within five spheres. They will be able to compare their own prescribing behaviour to that of their colleagues. The treatment and medicines, upon which GPs will receive comments, particularly relate to antibiotics, clinical biology, polypharmacy for older people, medical imaging and psychotropic drugs, such as antidepressants.
The department for the Public Health Minister, Maggie De Block, says, “There are too many prescriptions in these spheres.” Her hope is that doctors prescribing more antidepressants than their colleagues, with a comparable number of patients, increasingly turn to other therapeutic treatments.
The Federation of GPs is unconvinced by this approach. It says, “If the government is genuinely concerned with increasing quality, it should do more than simply distribute data in the hope that this will lead to savings. Increasing quality does also mean investing more, but this is happening less and less often…”.