Belgian National Health Insurance Institute submit two CFS/ME doctors penalty of more than half a million Euros
Two Belgian doctors who treated thousands of CFS/ME patients in recent years have been fined by the Administrative Court of Inami, the Belgian National Health Insurance Institute to a penalty of more than € 500,000. The Drs Francis Coucke, endocrinologist, and Anne Marie Uyttersprot, neuropsychiatrist, must not only repay the prescribed medication but were also fined more than 100%. The verdict was in absentia because both doctors act of revenge by the court. One of the doctors- magistrates, the chairman of the CVS group of Inami, prof. Baeyens, withdrew. The other issue was a doctor- magistrate, Dr. Bernard Debbaut, which sits at the Insurance Committee and the Technical Medical Board of Inami, who refused to withdraw. The conviction of two doctors was before the investigation that preceded the lawsuit, announced by the Christian and Socialist Health Insurances (CM & SM).
The case came at the instigation of the Health Insurance CM who in recent years faced with growing discontent of its members who refuse the imposed CBT psychotherapy for the treatment of CFS, such as those in the so-called reference centers is applied. An internal report of Inami has previously shown that behavioral therapy is unsuccessful. A report from the independent Knowledge Centre KCE later confirmed that outcome.
Both doctors are committed to not accept the verdict and will appeal. "This case is a put-up job," says Dr. Uyttersprot. "We have rigorously applied the criteria of Inami. In contradiction with official beliefs we established that many patients suffer from severe comorbid disorders. We have done no more than our duty. In no way have enriched ourselves. "
"It is proven that a physician in this country has no chance of a fair hearing," says Dr. Coucke. " Inami, which is controlled by the largest health insurance company in the country, CM, is judge and party and not even hiding it. We have documentary evidence that the conviction was tied. The so-called investigation by Inami was a joke. "
Despite the appeal the verdict can be executed immediately.
Earlier, the CM field a complaint with the National Order of Physicians, who dismissed the case.
This verdict also creates a precedent because it means that Belgian doctors now not only have to repay unfair fees received but now post factum required to bear the costs of so called falsely medication of their patients. The requirements of the two doctors were however always approved by the medical officer of the health insurance.
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