Netherlands

NewsNew regulation found after the CAMbrella deliveries:

No new regulation found.


Notice! All text below is copied from the CAMbrella report – delivered Dec 31, 2012

In this summary, you will find:

  • Direct links to the legislation of specific CAM therapies in The Netherlands
  • The legal and regulatory status of CAM and CAM practices in The Netherlands
  • The governmental supervision of CAM practices in The Netherlands
  • The reimbursement status of CAM practices and medicinal products in The Netherlands
Go directly to legislation of specific CAM therapies in The Netherlands:
Acupuncture – Anthroposophic medicine – Ayurveda – Chiropractic – Herbal medicine/Phytotherapy –
Homeopathy – Massage – Naprapathy – Naturopathy – Neural therapy – Osteopathy – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – Other treatments

The Netherlands was a founding member of the European Union (EU) in 1952 (11), and a
founding member of the Council of Europe on 5 May 1949 (11).

The legal and regulatory status of CAM and CAM practices

In the Netherlands provision of alternative care is legal (283). Both medically and nonmedically qualified professionals are allowed to practise CAM (106284). By passing
amendments to the Individual Health Care Professions Act on 1.12.1997 (Beroepen in de
Individuele Gzondheidszorg), practice of medicine is open to all with some limitations; some procedures may be carried out only by categories of professional practitioners authorized to do so by law (see supervision below) (284).

“Professions can be regulated in two ways: by Act of Parliament (section 3 of the Individual Health Care Professions Act lays down rules governing eight) or by an Order in Council pursuant to an act (section 34 of the aforementioned legislation). Both regulations enable titles to be legally protected; the most important differences are that the government only maintains a register for the professions covered by section 3, and that the government regulates the disciplinary procedures applying to practitioners of these professions”(284).

The act introduced a system to protect the titles of a limited number of professional groups. Persons practising a regulated profession may use a professional title, protected under public law, if they are registered in the legal status register (284). They must meet a number of statutory requirements, the most important of which are of an educational nature (284).

The eight health professions regulated by Section 3 of the Individual Health Care Professions Act are: doctor, dentist, pharmacist, health care psychologist, psychotherapist, physiotherapist, midwife, nurse. The new registration and title protection of these professions started 1 December 1997. At the same time professions not governed by law but by an Order in Council (regulations based on section 34, applying mainly to paramedical professions) will likewise enjoy title protection (284).

The criteria applicable to a profession under section 34 are the need for public information (protected title), the need for a regulation to govern the independent carrying out of reserved procedures in practice, and the need for a legal regulation to govern training.
The declaration of professional competence and registration of persons with foreign
qualifications who wish to practise their profession in the Netherlands is regulated in the
Individual Health Care Professions Act (284).

In 2008 the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport announced that he intended to investigate a further regulation and restriction of alternative treatments (283285).

The governmental supervision of CAM Practices

According to the Individual Health Care Professions Act, the performance of certain medical procedures are limited to categories of professional practitioners authorized to do so by law (284). Performance of such a procedure by an unauthorized practitioner is a criminal offence.

The procedures specified are: surgical procedures, obstetric procedures,
catheterizations and endoscopies, punctures and injections, general anaesthetics,
procedures involving the use of radioactive substances and ionizing radiation, cardio version, defibrillation, electroconvulsive therapy, lithotripsy, artificial insemination (3).

The reimbursement status of CAM practices and medicinal products

A new health insurance system was introduced in 2006 (283). CAM treatments are not
covered by basic health insurance, but health insurers cover alternative treatment as either additional “free” benefits or covered by complementary Voluntary Health Insurance (VHI) (283).

Acupuncture treatment, fees for consultation with an anthroposophic physician and
anthroposophic medicines are partially covered by private insurance companies (106).
Homeopathy treatment and homeopathic medicines are covered by private insurance
companies (106). Chiropractic treatment is covered by private insurance if the chiropractoris connected with a professional body such as De Nederlandse Chiropractoren Associatie (NCA) and that he/she is registered at the Netherlands Foundation for Chiropractic (SCN) (286).

If osteopathy treatment is offered by an osteopath registered in the Nederlands Register
voor Osteopathie (NRO) all health insurers reimburse all or part of osteopathic consultation under the supplementary package. Most insurers require no referral from a doctor to osteopathic treatment (287).