The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG)
The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) is the professional organization for physicians of The Netherlands. It was established in 1849. Since January 1st 1999 the KNMG has become a federation of medical practitioners’ professional associations.
Our main objectives are to improve the quality of medical care and healthcare in general, and to improve public health. This is achieved by proactively responding to developments in health care and society, by developing guidelines and policies, by lobbying, and by providing services to our members. Another important task of the KNMG is the regulation of vocational training and registration of specialists.
The federation consists of the Association of Public Health Physicians (KAMG), the National Association of salaried Doctors (LAD), the National Association of General Practitioners (LHV), the Dutch Association for occupational Health (NVAB), the Association for elderly care physicians (Verenso), the Dutch Association of Insurance Medicine (NVVG), the Dutch Order of Medical Specialists (Orde van Medisch Specialisten) and a group of individual KNMG members and students.
We work in close collaboration with other stakeholders, e.g. government, politics, health care insurance companies, patient organizations, and other organizations in healthcare. The goal is to promote the medical and associated sciences, and achieve high quality healthcare. Our policies cover the full range from public health issues, medical ethics, science, health law to medical education.
Another important task of the KNMG is the legal system concerning the postgraduate training and registration of specialists. Legislative boards issue rules on specialist training, recognition of trainers, hospitals etc., specialist registration and the recertification of specialists. The registration committees carry out legislation regarding the tasks mentioned above in the interest of the public.
1. A campaign on medical professionalism
In 2009 a national campaign will be launched, aimed at all physicians. The main goal is to support doctors in their professional conduct: good quality, earning trust of their patients and accountability.
Promoting quality of healthcare, safety and transparency of medical practice and professional integrity, through the establishment of guidelines and advice and influencing government and politics.
- Development of a quality framework: the quality and patient safety requirements any doctor in The Netherlands should meet;
- Contribute to educational modernisation of the training of medical specialists and the curriculum in accordance with the CanMEDs model;
- Contribute to the modernisation of the Individual Health Care Professionals Act (Wet BIG). This Act concerns the quality of care guaranteed by legally protected professional titles and provides a register of health care professionals (the BIG-register). The BIG-register registers pharmacists, physicians, physiotherapists, health care psychologists, psychotherapists, dentists, midwives and nurses. Only those listed in this register may carry the legally protected titles belonging to these professions;
- Monitoring Health Insurance Act: under the new Health Insurance Act, all residents of the Netherlands are obliged to have a health insurance. The system is a private health insurance with social conditions. The system is operated by private health insurance companies; the insurers are obliged to accept every resident in their area of activity. A system of risk equalization enables the acceptance obligation and prevents direct or indirect risk selection.
- Contribute to strengthening patientsrights. Especially in the fields of quality, safety and legal complaints.
- Activities related to “end of life” care: implementing the palliative sedationguideline and research on decisions of physicians concerning the final stage of life. See: KNMG position paper: the role of the physician in the voluntary termination of life
The KNMG studies trends and influences policies and legislation in relevant areas where professional values en responsibilities are of major significance.
- Monitoring, and if possible, influencing developments on health insurances and the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (AWBZ) which is a national insurance act for long-term care. This is intended to provide the insured with chronic and continuous care. This involves considerable financial consequences, such as care for disabled people with congenital, physical or mental disorders;
- Commenting on reports from government advisory boards;
- IT in healthcare, Electronic Patient Record (EPD). This is a plan for a nationwide system which is intended to facilitate the electronic exchange of patient information. Data from different healthcare information systems will be brought together in the EPD. KNMG is involved in the development and implementation of the EPD, lobbying etc.
4. International activities
The KNMG is an active member of the Comité Permanent des Médecins Européens (CPME) and the World Medical Association (WMA). The CPME is involved in influencing policy at European level and is of great importance, because the practice of European doctors is increasingly influenced by the European dimension.