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About the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sports

When it comes to the digitalisation of healthcare, The Netherlands is one of the frontrunners, according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport has recognised the importance of the role of digital health (eHealth) in addressing the most pressing issues facing the Dutch healthcare system.

The right care in the right place

These are challenges many societies worldwide are facing: an ageing population, rising healthcare costs, and a shortage of competent medical staff. To bring forth the necessary solutions, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport is actively stimulating programmes working on ‘the right care in the right place’.

Current overarching themes the Ministry focuses on:

  • the transition from traditional hospital-based care to home-care
  • increasing patient involvement in the care process
  • facilitating the safe exchange of patient information between providers, and between provider and patient
  • benefiting from eHealth wherever possible

Adjusting to an ageing population

The number of Dutch citizens over the age of 75 is expected to double by 2040. The number of people over the age of 90 will triple, and the number of people over the age of 100 will nearly quadruple. Researchers from RIVM (the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) expect that healthcare costs will be twice as high in 2040 as it was in 2015 if we do not change our approach.

Having the right care in the right place not only helps to support citizens’ health and autonomy. It also helps to keep healthcare organizable and affordable.

By investing in Healthy ageing, Digital Transformations and Biotech and Pharma, The Netherlands is making the necessary changes. From disease prevention and the encouragement of healthy lifestyles to biopharmaceutical innovation. From highly connected network care to increased patient self-management.

Co-creating digital solutions to empower patients

This is possible thanks to an impressive range of digital solutions. Dutch eHealth can enable standardization while fostering efficiency, so the quality is reliable while costs are lowered. They facilitate access anytime, anywhere, in order to close the bridge between urban and rural health care. And they empower patients by putting their demands and requirements front and center.

In the Netherlands, eHealth solutions are developed through the so-called Dutch approach. This entails extensive collaboration between government, SMEs, multinationals and research institutes to develop solutions, making them widely available without having only a commercial perspective. Co-creation is considered a key to success. This results in solutions that are supported and used by stakeholders throughout the healthcare system.

 

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