Government to continue successful health policy

In the coming years the government will maintain its commitment to promoting public health, with a focus on prevention, health protection, reducing health disparities and an integrated approach. These plans are set out in the National Health Policy Document 2016-2019 approved by the cabinet.

In recent years various programmes have been implemented to promote public health in the Netherlands. They include campaigns to provide a wider choice of healthy food, establish local sport and exercise programmes and promote healthy schools and, as of 2016, childcare centres as well as partner with the business world, civil society organisations, schools, etc. as part of a national prevention programme. Healthy living and working environments, as well as prevention in the healthcare system, are also an important part of the government's approach.

The Public Health Status and Foresight Report, which serves as the basis for health policy, revealed that Dutch health is improving. Life expectancy increased considerably in the last 10 years and a number of lifestyle trends are no longer detrimental, even though there are still some major challenges. More and more attention is being paid to prevention within the healthcare system. So current trends in public health do not warrant any major policy changes, instead they require that the present approach be vigorously continued.

Municipalities are an important partner for the government with regard to health policy, as their local health policy documents flesh out the national framework.