Doctors and nurses studying for a PhD no longer need to worry about not being allowed to practise their profession any more. Minister of Public Health, Edith Schippers, has amended the Individual Healthcare Professions Act.

Schippers has decided to include PhD research as relevant work experience for healthcare workers. This means that, after five years, they can register again in the Individual Healthcare Professions (BIG) register. Only then may they perform certain medical interventions independently.

Work experience or training required

Since 1 January 2012, medical staff like doctors, physiotherapists and midwives must undertake a number of hours’ work experience or training to re-register in BIG.

This law created problems for doctoral candidates. A PhD often takes more than five years, making it impossible for doctoral candidates to comply with the work or training requirement.