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Healthcare-related infections

People who spend a long time in a hospital or a nursing home run the risk of acquiring a healthcare-related infection such as MRSA or a urinary tract infection. These conditions often need to be treated with antibiotics. Excessive use of antibiotics all over the world has caused more and more pathogenic micro-organisms to become antibiotic-resistant.

This increasing resistance has been a cause of concern in the Netherlands for many years, even though Dutch doctors are in general careful not to prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily. Resistance to antibiotics used to be mainly a problem in the hospital setting, but it is now spreading to other kinds of healthcare facilities and to the general public.

Monitoring committee

The monitoring committee on hospital infections and antimicrobial resistance (Signaleringsoverleg Ziekenhuisinfecties en Antimicrobiële resistentie, abbreviated SO-ZI/AMR, in Dutch) was set up in 2012 in order to timely detect outbreaks of infections with (antibiotic-resistant) microorganisms and to prevent the spread of such infections. Hospitals have to report outbreaks of infection to the committee, and other healthcare establishments may do so too. The committee meets once a month to discuss incoming reports and to  potential consequences. Where necessary relevant healthcare establishments and professionals are informed.