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Practice of the Statutory Disciplinary System for Health Care Psychologists in The Netherlands

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A statutory disciplinary system for health care psychologists in the Netherlands was introduced in 1998. To provide an indication of the contribution of this system to monitoring the quality of health care psychology all complaints dealt with in the period 1999-2002 were studied. Questionnaires were sent to all 388 members of the disciplinary boards (response 89%) and 43 practicing lawyers (response 65%). The regional disciplinary boards dealt with 68 complaints about health care psychologists. A sanction was imposed 16 times (25%), mainly for sexual intimacies or a sexual relationship, violation of professional secrecy or incorrect statement or reporting. The statutory disciplinary system appears to be an important corrective instrument for serious forms of professional misconduct for health care psychologists.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 2: Professor of Health Law, Section of Health Law, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Attorney at Law at Nysingh advocaten-notarissen N.V. Arnhem, The Netherlands; 3: Professor of Social Medicine, Inspector General, The Netherlands Health Care Inspectorate, Utrecht, The Netherlands


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