Thursday, 16 April 2015
The number of GPs who are choosing to move to communes lacking doctors has doubled in the last three years, going from 86 to 195. These doctors receive an encouragement bonus of 20,000 euros from the authorities. “This shows that there is a great need”, the Domus Medica doctor’s association explained to the Het Belang van Limburg and Het Nieuwsblad on Thursday. But, according to the Flemish GP’s Union, this bonus hasn’t solved the problem. “We think that doubling the bonus would give a necessary signal. In lots of places in Belgium, there is a dramatic lack of doctors”, says Domus Medica. In 2006, 88 Belgian communes out of 589 were facing a lack of doctors, compared to 300 today. This lack can be explained by practitioners aging, who then retire. There are not enough successors to replace them.