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On the waiting list for a psychologist?

Enormous waiting lists at (GGZ) psychologists, months of waiting before it's your turn. More and more often I am told that people do not get the help they need through the regular channel through their GP. Are you on the waiting list for a psychologist? It can be done differently!

Why does it remain such a persistent problem?

There are almost 90,000 Dutch people on the waiting list for psychological help. Sometimes they have to wait months. For several years now, it has been the intention that GPs take over basic care for people with mental problems. In case of serious problems, they will refer you to a psychiatrist or other specialized care. But here, too, the work is ramping up and there are more people who need support than there are hours to accommodate them.

Waiting lists in healthcare
Wait, wait, wait...

The family doctor

General practitioners are often the first point of contact for people with problems. They refer patients if they need more care than they can provide in their practice.

Like GP Nieke Zoon from Ede. She hates the waiting lists. "As a general practitioner, we sometimes see that someone with problems really has to move on to more serious care. I cannot sell it to patients that they have to wait another three or four months before they are really treated." It is also frustrating for Nienke that it seems to be about money. "Then I have to say to a patient: sorry, you have to wait, because there is no budget for this year in an institution.

The health insurer

Your health insurer has a legal obligation to ensure that you receive appropriate care on time. They handle the money and buy the treatments that are needed.

Last year, insurers even spent 300 million euros less than they were allowed to. Shouldn't that money have been used to shorten waiting lists, for example by paying for extra treatment places?

The waiting list problem is about more than money, says Koen Venekamp of Zorgverzekeraars Nederland. "We certainly don't leave policyholders out in the cold. More money may seem logical, but it is often not the only and, moreover, not the best solution." Insurers see more in finding enough staff and making better diagnoses, so that people get to the right place faster. And that turns out to be difficult in practice.

The patient

Patient association MIND represents the patients who suffer from the waiting lists.

They are concerned about the long waiting times, but also about the way everyone treats people who insist on it. "Carers must immediately stop sending patients from pillar to post. There is too little thinking along with people about the right care, which means that people are now unnecessarily transferred from one waiting list to the next.

Paula (35) also has that experience. She had a history of psychological complaints and after a burnout she came home in January. Since then she has been on waiting lists and has already completed seven intakes. "When they said at the last intake that it would take another three months, I collapsed. Others then sounded the alarm for me." The institution decided that they could see her once a week for the time being. A kind of finger on the pulse, until she can really start. "But that's not a treatment yet.

The practitioner

It is the psychiatrists and psychologists who have the waiting lists. These can be healthcare organizations or self-employed persons. (Not the therapists and coaches)

Michiel Bosman is a practitioner and owner of several practices. Patients also have to wait there. He takes a critical look at what they themselves can do about the problem. "Therapists like to treat. It is sometimes difficult to say to a patient at a certain point: you can stand on your own two feet again. Perhaps we sometimes keep people with us for too long.

He has now made the processes for accepting patients more efficient. "One of the problems was that after the waiting list, and even after the intake, a patient was sometimes referred to another person, and so ended up on a waiting list somewhere else. We are doing better now, but there is a waiting time to make a profit.

But he also points to the health insurers. "As practitioners, we must ensure that we do not provide more care than we are paid by health insurers. Because you cannot sustain that as an organization. In theory, we can hire more staff and therefore treat more, but we must be reimbursed for that .

As a practitioner, he can lose sleep over the waiting lists. "Then I think: where would I send my own family, where can they go? I don't know. The only thing I can say to people is that we are doing our very best." He does not have a ready-made solution. "As a society, we cannot just put more money into healthcare. We also do not want our premium to continue to rise."

From pillar to post or from psychologist first to a therapist?

People with psychological complaints often end up on a waiting list at the GP. An annual survey by the National Association of General Practitioners (LHV) shows that 52 percent of the general practices has no time to these to help these patients immediately.

So what seemed like a solution is no longer the solution. How? A client of mine has been offered an intermediate solution through his GP and the practice nurse. Sessions at my practice.

Therapy with an Integrative Therapist for as long as the waiting period lasts.

So that the client receives care and attention and so that the problems do not get worse. It is often helpful that the client is heard and seen. That there is a place where people can speak freely. Where you can work on what needs attention now. And for a burnout, a therapist can be just as helpful as a psychologist. I often hear that people have benefited more from the sessions with me than from the psychologist. Not that what they do is not good or would help less. Not at all. But we do have a different way of working. And for burn-out or stress complaints, a solution-oriented, direct approach is often more effective than first analyzing the psyche.

And there are many therapists in the Netherlands who, in my opinion, can reduce the pressure on the waiting lists. Many of these therapists are (partly) reimbursed from the additional package.

To all practice nurses, on behalf of all (Integrative) therapists and coaches in the Netherlands, we offer our knowledge and experience to reduce the pressure on the waiting lists!

I advocate Alternative Care in the basic package. There is now so much more evidence that this form of support in the healing process produces results!

Clients can contact me for, among other things, Trauma processing, depressive complaints, Stress, Burn-out and Anxiety.

So are you on the waiting list? In the meantime, join me and get started.

Make an appointment immediately, arranged within 24 hours and you can meet me within 1 week.

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