Health checks on the market, but only with guarantees for consumers
Gepubliceerd in: TSG - Tijdschrift voor gezondheidswetenschappen | Uitgave 3/2010Log in om toegang te krijgen
The number of preventive diagnostic tests on the market grows spectacular. Self tests, preventive examinations and preventive consults are in high demand. This issue describes some aspects of the debate in the Netherlands. The Dutch Health Council pleads for better legal quality marks to protect consumers, because just a few self tests fulfill essential criteria. A general meeting organized by patient organizations concluded that they want to profit from new possibilities. Patients want to get reassurance and want to take responsibility for their own health, but they also want better information, better follow up after tests and better insurance protection in case diseases or high risks are detected. The organization of producers and distributors of in vitro diagnostics states that the whole chain from producers to consumer should be safeguarded. Critical epidemiologists argue that the public should be educated to know that nearly all preventive examinations among healthy adults lack a sound scientific basis, and often do more harm than good. General practioners dispute the value of general preventive examinations and therefore develop modules for specific preventive consults; a cardiometabolic module is now in its testing stage. The Dutch Health Care Inspectorate and the Netherlands Organization for Research and Development are working on the development of a multidisciplinary medical guideline for preventive diagnostic examinations. With contributions of van Veen, de Booys, Bonneux, Assendelft, de Bruin and Reulings.