Some 50 Dutch doctors reprimanded for Covid misinformation
The healthcare inspectorate sent about 50 "corrective letters" in the past period to doctors who provided "evidently incorrect" information about the coronavirus or the vaccines against it. In ten cases, measures were threatened.
According to the inspectorate, this involved "disputing generally accepted scientific information, promoting medicines that deviate from the professional standard, or actively discouraging vaccinations". That is all against the standards and guidelines, the inspectorate said on Tuesday. There were also invalid medical statements about not being able to wear face masks. And one doctor was even fined 3,000 euros for prescribing medicines not meant to treat the coronavirus.
The inspectorate "respects the freedom of expression of everyone - including doctors and other healthcare providers". "Discussion and reflection within different professions is always very useful." However, the inspectorate subsequently expects doctors and other healthcare providers to adhere to the generally accepted standards and views of their profession.
The reprimanded doctors made their statements not only to patients, but also on social media. The inspectorate can give care providers an instruction, an order or a fine, or submit the matter to the disciplinary court. "Making unfounded statements is not prohibited in the Netherlands," said the inspectorate. But it added that it does take action against statements that "endanger public health".
Reporting by ANP