Research future-proofing of the BIG Act
On April 29, 2022, Ernst Kuijpers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport responded to our research on the future-proofing of the BIG Act in a parliamentary letter (in Dutch) to the Lower House. In cooperation with Pro-facto, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, we conducted research last year into reserved actions and admission of professions in the BIG Act. We also looked at possibilities for further development of the current rules and criteria.
The objectives of the Individual Health Care Professions Act (Wet BIG) are to promote and monitor the quality of professional practice and to protect the public from incompetent and negligent actions in health care. Although a “no, unless” policy applies to inclusion of professions, professional groups are increasingly requesting inclusion in the law. Also, the current system of reserved actions is under pressure due to technological developments, the drive for efficiency and more commitment to prevention.
The research started with a desk study and a number of exploratory interviews with key figures involved from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Netherlands Healthcare Institute, and the Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ). To guide the legal analysis, we conducted six interviews with scientific and legal experts and with the IGJ. Building on the results of the desk study, we conducted 26 interviews with representatives of professional groups and a patient advocacy organization . To validate the results from the interviews more broadly and create dialogue among the various stakeholders, we organized two online group discussions. Based on the desk study, legal analysis and (group) interviews, we developed five scenarios for amendments to the BIG Act. In so-called EffectenArenas, problem analysis, expected effects and preconditions for implementation were mapped out with the field for each scenario.
In our research, we make several conclusions and recommendations, which Minister Kuijpers addresses in his letter. In addition, NU’91 (an independent professional organization for healthcare professionals) also responded to Kuipers’ letter: https://www.skipr.nl/nieuws/nu91-positief-over-standpunt-kuipers-over-wet-big/.