Strike may 23

Dear clients and partners,

We would like to inform you of a national strike by midwives this coming Monday, 23 May 2022. We feel compelled to take part in this strike. This means that we will not be doing some parts of our work. This strike is our last means to communicate to politicians and health care insurance companies that the implementation of Bundled Payment (Integrale Bekostiging – IB) in maternity health care is unwise and unacceptable.

The Netherlands has a unique system. This begins with the midwife. You see the midwife as long as your pregnancy is ‘simply’ healthy, only see the gynecologist if necessary, and see the maternity assistant when you are at home during delivery and the post-partum period.
You choose the midwifery practice, the maternity care and potentially the hospital that matches you. You choose where to give birth. This freedom of choice is at risk of changing soon.

Minister Kuipers of The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) wants to reform the payment system of maternity health care in such a way that hospitals will now be able to claim all the expenses related to pregnancy.

This system gives the hospital a monopoly position at the expense of women and midwives. In time maternity care will become more hospital oriented, just as it is in other Western countries.

Pregnant women will become hospital patients and the ‘simply healthy pregnancy and birth’ and the neighborhood midwifery practice will disappear.

The implementation of Bundled Payment will mean a loss of the freedom to choose where and how you give birth, with the health care provider you choose. There is no proof that switching to Bundled Payment leads to better care for mother and child, and in studies it has led to higher costs. The strike is our last attempt to ask the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) to oppose the minister’s decision.

Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. our practice is taking part in a work-to-rule strike.

This means the following:

  • No house calls
  • No post-partum visits
  • No emergency consults at our own practice

This strike can affect you. We are absolutely providing care during the day, but in a different way than you are used to from us.

What should you do if you need us this Monday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.?

- If you have an emergency, always call the on-call midwife on the emergency number at 06 – 5478 8178
- If you need to be seen for an unscheduled check-up, the midwife will ask you to come to a central location in the area. For our practice that location is Eerste Van Swindenstraat 551A-B, 1093 LC Amsterdam
– If you go into labor, follow the instructions given by your midwife and call the on-call midwife at 06 – 5478 8178
– If we are scheduled to come for a post-partum visit, that will be done via telephone.
– If you have an appointment for a check-up or ultrasound at the practice, come to the practice as usual. Consults will continue as normal.

We understand that this is not an ideal situation for you during pregnancy and that it can cause some anxiety. We feel it is important for you to know that as midwives we are here for you.

However, this action is necessary so that in a few years we can still be here for future pregnant women! We want to thank you for your understanding.

Warm regards,
Witsenkade Midwives