The GP treats patients for common and minor diseases and can answer most of your general health questions. (S)he is able to perform minor surgery, e.g. a removal of a mole or place an IUD. The GP also performs, for example, standard gynecological or pediatric examinations. It is normal for children to be seen by a GP as Pediatricians generally only see children with special needs or conditions.
A GP has received 3 years of specialist training after a basic 6-year medical education. A GP is obliged by law to regularly update his skills and re-register every 5 years.
A GP is also trained to recognize changes to a condition that require you to be seen by another health care specialist. Statistically 9 out of 10 complaints are treated by the GP and around 1 in 10 is referred to another healthcare professional. Your GP will therefore also serve as your link to most other services, such as hospitalization, specialists, home nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy.
Don’t hesitate to ask your GP for information or services that you may need. If you do not agree with your doctor’s assessment, you have the right to a second opinion. Some health insurance policies will cover this.