A regional disciplinary board censured a dentist who allowed someone without proper authorisation to carry out a procedure and that judgement was the motivation for providing some clarification concerning the Dutch law. In the Netherlands, more than in most other countries, a relatively large amount of freedom is given to people who are not medical doctors to carry out dental procedures. This freedom does, however, have its limits and they are established in the law governing the registration of healthcare professionals (in the BIG-register). The central requirement in this law is competence. In addition, the law makes a distinction, at the present time, among a group of healthcare providers who are authorised to carry out, independently, restricted treatments (dentists), a group of healthcare providers who are authorised to perform certain functions (dental hygienists), and a group who are not authorised. Provided they satisfy legal requirements, nonauthorised individuals can also carry out restricted treatments. In the future, this system might be breached, in the sense that the requirement for authorisation will lapse.
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