The Netherlands Public Prosecution Service (OM) and healthcare workers warn of a significant increase in false diplomas in health care. These fraudsters work in the medical practice and perform acts like starting IVs and handing out drugs without ever finishing the proper education. André den Exter, Associate Professor of Health Law at Erasmus School of Law, expresses his concerns to RTL Nieuws about the increasing fraud cases.
The Inspection for Healthcare and Youth (IGJ) received 59 reports of fraud with false diplomas in the first half of 2022. That is almost the same as the 63 reports over 2021, whilst the half of 2022 still has to come. The IGJ sees understaffing as one of the causes; when extra help is urgently needed, diplomas get checked less thoroughly, despite procedures to tackle fraud.
Den Exter is critical of the increase. He understands the issue of understaffing and the urgency of more workforce, but he pleas for the importance of the checks: “injections and drugs should only be administered by qualified personnel; otherwise, this could lead to health damage.” His opinion is clear: “the care provider must keep checking. What kind of personnel do you get in bed with? They must do their jobs. Period. Scarcity should never be an excuse.”
The fraudster also risks punishment for the actions, warns the Associate Professor of Health Law: “these are no small violations. In some cases, even prison sentences can be imposed. These are serious offences.”