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The Dutch system of handling complaints in health care

The Dutch system of handling complaints in health care

Medicine and Law 28(2): 241-255

In the Netherlands, as in other countries, there are several ways of handling patients' complaints. These procedures have three main objectives: protecting individual rights of patients, improving the quality of health care, and protecting the public interest. In the Dutch system of handling complaints, informal and formal procedures are distinguished. The purpose of this article is to describe the formal complaints procedures: the complaints committee, the medical disciplinary board and the civil law procedure. In addition, the article describes the criminal procedure, which cannot be initiated by the patient but is also used to examine practices of health care professionals. Table 1 provides an overview of all procedures. Finally, the article discusses whether the existing procedures are appropriate to achieve the intended goals of the system for handling complaints in health care. Further research is needed to reveal whether these goals are actually realized in practice.

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Accession: 056179083

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PMID: 19705640

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