The Netherlands healthy and well. This is the motto of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). The ambition of the Ministry of VWS is to keep everyone healthy as long as possible and to restore the sick to health as quickly as possible. The ministry also seeks to support people with a physical or mental limitation and promote social participation.
The Ministry of VWS encourages people to adopt healthy life styles: to exercise more, to refrain from smoking, to use alcohol moderately, to practise safe sex and to eat healthily. People who have problems with their health should be able to call on their general practitioner, the hospital or other forms of health care on time. They are insured for this care and therefore have a right to health care. Together with health insurers, health care providers and patient organisations, the Ministry of VWS ensures that there are sufficient facilities and that people have sufficient choices.
The Netherlands too has groups of residents that profit less from our welfare state. They are not economically independent or do not take an active part in society. In collaboration with ministries that are focused on the economy, education, housing and the environment, the Ministry of VWS strengthens the social infrastructure. Volunteer work and youth care are important parts of the social policy.
Sport promotes health, provides social contacts and contributes to self-development. The 'sports mission' of the Ministry of VWS is to make it possible for everyone to play sports. In addition, the Ministry focuses on and funds top-level sports, so that the Netherlands can perform well at international tournaments.