Minister to allow dental hygienists to put in simple fillings, drill teeth

Government suggestions that dental hygienists be allowed to carry out simple fillings and other procedures have been condemned by dentists' organisations as incomprehensible. Health minister Bruno Bruins plans to allow dental hygienists to take over some of the simpler tasks done by dentists to free them up for more complicated work. But dentists' organisations say neither dentists nor patients back the plan. 'The concept is completely incomprehensible,' said KNMT spokeswoman Dianne Paarhuis. 'Dentists don't want to work with independent dental hygienists and patients are not keen either, according to a survey by the patients' lobby group Patientenfederatie. And insurance companies say it will only drive up costs.' The minister plans to launch a five year experiment widening dental hygienists' areas of competence in 2020.   More >

30-year-olds earn less than their parents

More than half of people in their 30s are earning less than their parents at the same age - the first time the younger generation has slipped back in decades, according to researchers at Tilburg University and the social affairs ministry. In particular, people in the lowest income brackets are struggling to climb the social ladder, the research shows. The researcher compared the salaries of 35-year-olds today with their parents when they were that age and corrected the results for inflation. The results showed that in 2015, 49% of today's 35-year-olds were better off than their parents had been, compared with 54% in 2005. This is the first time since WWII that the new generation has been in a worse financial position than their parents, researcher Daniel van Vuuren said. The rise of short-term and temporary contracts and the surge in self-employment is further reducing job security and the platform economy will have an increasingly important role, Van Vuuren said. 'Companies are demanding increasingly flexibility from youngsters against less social protection,' he said.   More >

Fewer maternity nurses: family on standby

Fewer people are opting for a job in maternity care, resulting in families with young babies having to share the services of a maternity nurse or relying on family members to help out, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.. A ten-day period of maternity care is part of the basic insurance package in the Netherlands. The shortage means that instead of six hours a day, new parents may only have a maternity nurse helping out for three hours a day. The problem is particularly pressing in the Randstad and Brabant, the paper found. There are no figures to pinpoint the exact size of the problem but a survey among maternity care workers by the association of maternity nurses earlier this summer showed one in five wanted to leave the profession. The lack of a balance between home life and work was cited as a reason as was the fact they are not compensated for extra hours, travel time and administrative tasks.   More >