The National Tuberculosis Control Plan 2016-2020 describes the changes required to optimise TB control in the Netherlands. The plan was developed by the RIVM together with KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation and other organisations involved in TB control. The plan sets out the interventions that are needed to achieve the objectives of reducing TB transmission and case numbers in the Netherlands with 25 per cent in these 5 years. The main new intervention to reach these targets is to screen new immigrants and asylum seekers for LTBI and providing preventive treatment to those infected.

Implementation of TB Control

Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) are responsible for the execution of TB control. They receive the disease notification of hospital specialists, provide patient support, conduct contact investigation around infectious TB patients, implement screening of risk groups (migrants, asylum seekers, prisoners), provide treatment for TB and LTBI, and selectively vaccinate new-born children with bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine.

Regional TB consultants are employed at the RIVM (0.1 FTE each) and are the liaison between the RIVM and the four Regional Expertise Centres in which the 25 GGDs have organised their TB control. The consultants work towards harmonisation and coordination of TB activities, and carry out project-based multidisciplinary collaboration between GGDs and partners in TB control.

The country has about 90 hospitals. An increasing number of pulmonologists work in more than one hospital due to institutional arrangements to sustain/improve the quality of care and efficiently use human resources. Two hospitals have a designated Tuberculosis Centre for long-term admission and specialised TB treatment services: Beatrixoord at the University Medical Centre Groningen, and Dekkerswald at the Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen. KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is a non-governmental organisations strongly involved in TB Control in the Netherlands, e.g. in guideline development, training and research.