Netherlands NPs & PAs FPA
Independency of Physician Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) regulated in the Netherlands
(3 October 2017) After a five-year experiment, the Dutch parliament and Dutch Senate agreed to give PA and NP full independence in diagnosing, initiating treatment and performing medical procedures. These medical tasks are mostly non-complex procedures that can be executed autonomous by an NP or PA. This also includes prescribing medication.
Both professions are trained to take medical and organizational tasks from medical doctors. The results of evaluation studies of the experiment are positive: PA and NP provide efficient and high quality care. The Dutch Minister of Health Ms. Schippers decided to change the act BIG (law on individual medical professionals) which regulates the performances of medical professionals.
The amendment will take effect on January 1, 2018.
PAs and NPs will have a legal position to perform the following medical tasks independently:
- prescribe medication,
- elective, electrical cardioversion and
This autonomous legal role means that the PA can provide independent diagnosis and start the treatment, but the PAs has to make agreements with their employer and the medical doctors about the scope of practice.
There are also some other conditions. The quality of the performance of the medical tasks must be according to national guidelines and protocols.
From January 1, 2018 the title Physician Assistant in the Netherlands is a protected title that only PAs can use who successfully completed a accreditated Master’s degree Physician Assistant. Also from January 2018 every PA is listed in a public register.
Research M. Timmermans ‘The impact of the involvement of physician assistants in inpatient care’ (2017)