we are happy to get in touch with our ‘soulmates’ abroad, who apparantly encounter the same or similar difficulties and developments with governmental regulations as we do in the Netherlands.
Please let me introduce ourselves.
We = a group of worried psychiatrists and psychotherapists in the Netherlands who decided to take legal steps against the intrusive government rulings and healtcare insurance companies who are slowly but forcefully raping the citizens / patients constitutional rights to the preservation of their privacy. Moreover, insurance companies are being facilitated by new governmental regulation in gaining control over content and practice of the health professionals by on the one hand forcing them into contracts with lots of duties and little rights and on the other hand increasingly prescribing them to follow protocoltreatments based on classification according to the DSM-IV.
In order to take the legal steps, in november 2007 we constituted a foundation: Koepel van DBC-vrije Ptraktijken van Psychotherapeuten en Psychiaters (www.dbcvrij.nl - unfortunately our website is not yet available in English). DBC is standing for: Diagnosis Treatment (in Dutch: Behandel) Combination. This system requires from every practitioner to make combinations of a form of treatment associated to a DSM-classification of the symptomatology of the patient. Moreover, this information must be transferred via the internet to a central data base from where the information is spread towards all kinds of institutions and commercial companies. At the same time the healthcare insurance companies demand specific diagnostic information on our bills which even more threatens the patients privacy and because of which he may suffer future economic and otherwise damage.
We opposed in a formal administrative procedure against the new regulations forced upon us by the Dutch Care Authority (Nederlandse Zorg Autoriteit) but our opposition was disgarded in full. So now we are engaging in a legal procedure against the same Authority at the Court of Appeal. This will be the first evaluation by a judge.
Our foundation is the only organised group in the Netherlands who is defending the patients privacy rights in court.
In case the judge would not abide with our arguments we already made clear we will immediately claim our rights at the European Court of Civil Rights in Strassbourg. Our legal advisors are convinced that the new regulations are in conflict with relevant legislation in the European Convention of Human Rights.
We would be interested indeed in exploring how we could combine our efforts and join hands, as you call it. Maybe we could start by expressing publicly adhesion towards our mutual struggles and goals.
Koepel van DBC-vrije Praktijken van Psychotherapeuten en Psychiaters
Clinical psychologist – psychotherapist
Secretary of the Koepel