Transvisie is the official patient organization for transgender people in the Netherlands. Transvisie speaks with all care providers and represents the interests of transgender people both on an individual level and as a group. Transvisie also organizes support groups for transgender people.
In 2016 Transvisie has done a survey and published a report about transgender care in the Netherlands. This report can be found at the Transvisie website. Transgender people on average have to wait for help for 1.5 to 2 years. 26% of trans women and 7% of trans men use hormones acquired through the internet (self-medication), which sometimes leads to severe complications. According to Transvisie’s chairperson, waiting for a psychologist to determine whether a person is suffering hard enough to need hormones is "an absolutely outdated opinion in cases where the person has already taken the decision to start using hormones".
The reaction from Mr. Den Heijer, head of the VUmc gender team is that self-medication with hormones is not a good thing. He says the VU does everything they can to reduce the waiting times, both by improving the organization and by hiring more staff. Judge for yourself whether they are successful in that: check the waiting times in July 2016 and compare those to the waiting times now at the VUmc website.
In February 2017, Transvisie has sent two letters clearly stating that Transvisie also would like to have Informed Consent implemented the Netherlands:
Letter to the Tweede Kamer (Dutch parliament) (February 1st, 2017) about the monopoly position of VUmc. This letter literally states:
Quality of care (1): preliminary stage
The quality of the only one market player leaves much to be desired. In surrounding countries an emancipation process is in progress in which it is recognized that a transgender background is a matter of individual identity. In principle no psychologists are necessary for this, they might only be needed to help with the resulting psychopathology. Psychological studies are useful for investigation, but they do delay the patient’s transition process by 1.5 to 2 years. That is waiting time plus consultation time.
Furthermore you must have noticed, we have sent a letter to the Tweede Kamer (Dutch parliament), stating our concerns. Our aim is to have the psychological screening abolished eventually. First of all the acute problems need to be resolved. This cannot wait until a new standard of somatic care has been established.