Kuipers: No total ban on showing favors to medical specialists

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As far as Minister Ernst Kuipers is concerned, there will be no total ban on (financial) favors from medical device or pharmaceutical companies to medical specialists. He thinks there are good reasons to make exceptions to the ban on favours.

This is evident from answers to questions from various parliamentary parties about the measures that Kuipers wants to take to make payments to healthcare providers and healthcare professionals from companies more transparent. He wants less self-regulation within the healthcare sector and more government regulation and is therefore considering amending the current laws and regulations. Among other things, he wants to regulate that there will be a legal obligation to register financial transactions between companies and professionals in a (government) register. The current transparency register has no legal basis and is not mandatory for all healthcare professionals. To this end, Kuipers is working on, among other things, the Bill for ethical business operations for care and youth care providers (Wibz). The issue of payments to cardiologists at Isala Hospital is one of the reasons for tightening the rules.

Total ban

The PVV argues that a total ban on showing favors to medical specialists creates clarity and is easier to enforce. The party is critical of exceptions, such as reimbursement of participation costs of meetings, service relationships, gifts of small value that can be used in the professional practice. But Kuipers believes that healthcare benefits from information and knowledge exchange between medical specialists and manufacturers of medical products. Also in response to questions from the SP, Kuipers states that the exchange of knowledge and ideas between medical professionals and manufacturers is necessary for research and innovation. According to him, this is inevitably accompanied by cash flows. According to him, limiting such collaborations is not in the interest of good and innovative care. He wants to take a closer look at the exceptions.

Still influence

Incidentally, Kuipers expects that even with amended laws and regulations and government regulations, unauthorized attempts to influence will still be made. And that such financial transactions will probably not be registered in a transparency register with a legal basis. Nevertheless, he expects to create a better basis for supervision and enforcement, among other things.

Also read the extensive research article on favoritism: How independent are patient organizations?

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