GPs called to book

The Federal Institute for Health and Invalidity Insurance Riziv is calling to book 160 general practitioners that it believes are prescribing too much medication. The news of Riziv’s move is reported in Saturday’s edition of ‘De Standaard’. Riziv has sent the GPs a letter asking them to explain why they have prescribed so much medication. They risk a fine if they are unable to give a valid explanation.

According to statistics, Belgians take too many pills to reduce cholesterol, medicines to reduce gastric acid and antibiotics. Riziv spends millions of euro each year paying back the cost of often superfluous medication.

Hence the decision to write to the 160 GPs. The letter asked them to be explaining their actions. The doctors risk a fine if they can satisfactorily explain their actions.

Marc Moens of the doctors’ union BVAS told the paper "We can examine the general practitioners’ practice for six months and look at everything he has done. A fine could be issued if he doesn’t change the way in which he issues prescriptions.”