Healthcare is being subjected to rapid and radical changes by a constant stream of new legislation. Demographic, medical-ethical and (bio)technological developments are providing material for a broad societal discussion about the limits of care. The collective expenditure on care accounts for over 10% of the Dutch economy. In the coming years this percentage will only grow due to the greying of the population and the reimbursement of many expensive new treatments. We are faced with massive challenges to ensure good-quality and affordable care and access to it for everyone. Health law provides a legal anchor and direction for this situation. That is also the case for issues concerning life and death (e.g. artificial reproduction, legal protection of the unborn child & euthanasia), patient’s rights, quality of care and medical liability (e.g. quality standards, dysfunctional specialists, personal injury and complaint and disciplinary rules), and scarcity of care (e.g. in the GGZ, shortage of donor organs and of medicines).
Commercialisation and legalisation are becoming more heavily involved in the healthcare sector. Healthcare insurance law (e.g. regulating healthcare insurers, healthcare policies and costs), competition law (the sector is notorious for cartel arrangements), corporate law in care (e.g. medical specialist companies and private clinics) and governance in care are highly influential. The role of international and European legislation in these issues often remains out of sight but in reality provides guidance and standards. The Health Care Law Section offers the only eponymous master's degree in the Netherlands in collaboration with experienced, highly qualified guest lecturers from the professional practice, which covers the entire range of Health Law.