The Dutch nursing organisation V&VN and patient groups says certificates of good conduct should be made compulsory for everyone working in healthcare, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.
Currently the certificates, known by the acronym VOG, are not necessary to work in healthcare, and the government has said the move would cause a sharp rise in bureaucracy. Some 1.3 million people work in the healthcare sector.
However, the V&VN is calling for change on the back of a court case involving a psychiatric nurse who kept secret a criminal record and is alleged to have abused several patients.
‘A VOG reduces the risk,’ spokesman Francis Bolle said. ‘That is important for vulnerable patients who cannot look after their own interests. They have the right to a secure environment.’
VOGs are issued by the justice ministry and state that the holder has not committed any crime which could be relevant to their work. Teachers, taxi drivers and childminders all have to have one.
The government is considering introducing certificates for new psychiatric and long-term elderly care staff.
Not all nursing organisations are in favour of the move, the Volkskrant points out. ‘I don’t know if this will improve patient care,’ Monique Kempff, chairman of the NU’91 nursing union told the paper. ‘Nor am I sure it will prevent bad nurses getting jobs.’
Kempff also questioned who would pay for the proposal.
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