The number of practice assistants (POH) has grown to almost nine thousand. This is evident from an inventory by the Nivel agency. 94 percent of GP practices now have one or more POHs.
Nivel has a total of 8,997 practice assistants working in general practitioner care this year, which means a doubling since 2016. On average, 3.6 people work as POH in a general practice and 1.8 as POH-GGZ. These are employees who appear to be referred to in up to fifty different ways in practice: generally as POH, but also more specified, such as somatics practice assistant, practice assistant for the elderly, child and youth, mental health care, or as practice nurse. Most practice assistants are POH-somatics (40 percent) or POH-GGZ (38 percent).
Most have completed a one- or two-year POH course and are also often trained as a doctor’s assistant, vocational nurse or higher vocational nurse. The POHs indicate that they can focus on directly patient-related activities 78 percent of the time. Many practice assistants work in multiple practices, often as employees.
There appear to be regional differences in the number of POHs per GP. For example, a GP in the Amsterdam and Rijnstreek regions has to make do with an average of one POH, while a GP in the Twente region works with 2.2 POH. Twente also tops the list when looking at the number of POHs per 100,000 inhabitants.