Complaints about the GP

It is possible that you are not satisfied or that you have a complaint about your GP or another staff member in the practice. For example because:

  • Your GP does not provided the care you expect.
  • Your GP refuses to prescribe medication or provide treatment. 
  • Your GP won’t give you a referral, to a specialist for example.
  • Your GP has made an incorrect diagnosis.
  • Your GP or another staff member is impolite.
  • The assistant does not want to connect you to the GP.
  • Your GP does not want to provide information about third parties, for example about your family member.
  • You have not received information that you can understand. 

There are many other things that might not turn out the way you expect them to. The GP or staff member may have good reasons for his or her actions. Still, you could feel that you are not being heard.

Discuss your complaint with your GP

Discuss your complaint with the GP yourself first. Many people find it difficult to make a complaint, but most GPs appreciate being told when a patient is not satisfied. If your GP knows what is going wrong, he or she can make sure things go better in the future. This helps improve the care, for you and also for others.

During the conversation you explain what you are not satisfied with. If the GP’s approach was correct, he or she can explain the reason for his or her actions. And if he or she has made a mistake, you can look for a solution together. Perhaps you find it difficult to talk about this with your GP; in that case you can bring someone with you. You can also talk to your GP if you are not satisfied with the GP assistant, practice nurse, locum (substitute) doctor or the out-of-hours service.

Filing a complaint with the complaints officer

If you are not satisfied with the conversation with the GP, you can file a complaint. You can present your complaint to a complaints officer. All GP practices and out-of-hours services are affiliated with an independent and impartial complaints officer. Ask the assistant or the GP which regional complaints officer you can contact.

The complaints officer discusses the matter with both parties and tries to find a solution through mediation, which both parties can agree on.

You have to file your complaint in writing. It is a good idea to write down on the form what you want to achieve: for example, an apology from the GP or the staff member concerned, or something you would like to see improved in the organisation.

Disputes committee

Usually you and your GP can find a solution through mediation by the complaints officer. But if that is not the case, you can take your complaint to a nationally recognised disputes committee, with which the GP practice is affiliated. Nationally recognised disputes committees for GPs are: DOKH and SKGE. Your GP can tell you which disputes committee the practice is affiliated with.

You can then file your complaint as a dispute. This independent committee consists of a chairperson (lawyer) and of members representing patients and members representing GPs. The committee is assisted by an administrative secretary. The opinion of the disputes committee is binding.

For more information (in Dutch) about filing a complaint, see the website of Zorgbelang Nederland.