Organogram of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport: Deputy Secretary-General

Deputy Secretary-General: Abigail Norville

The following departments fall under the Deputy Secretary-General (PSG):

  • Communications Department (DCo)
  • Organisation, Personnel and Operational Management Department (OBP)
  • Legislation and Legal Affairs (WJZ)
  • Administrative and Political Affairs Department (BPZ)
  • Information Policy Department (DI)
  • Disciplinary Boards and Review Committees (Secretariats) Unit (ESTT)
  • Personal Budget (PGB) Programme Department
  • COVID-19 Review Programme Department (PD NC-19)
  • Public Access Programme Department (PDO)
  • Healthcare and Youth Care in the Caribbean Netherlands Programme Department (ZJCN)

Communications Department (DCo)

Director: Mark van der Roer


The Communications Department (DCo) tracks developments in society, the media and politics. Besides conducting its own studies, it also monitors and analyses how issues relating to the Ministry are covered by the media. DCo also uses social media, webcare and public communications to stay connected with target groups. The department is tasked with strategic communication for various projects, programmes and legislation.



Strategic advice on communications
Campaign management
Communications studies


Corporate and internal communications
Online advice
Working visits and activities of ministers/state secretary
Visual identity and media design

Public relations

Monitoring and analysis
Social media
Public communications and webcare

Media relations

Maintaining relations with and informing the media

Organisation, Personnel and Operational Management Department (OBP)

Director: Hui-Ling Tigchelaar-Wu

OBP is the Ministry’s central advisory and support department tasked with:

  • Personnel and organisation
  • Information technology (IT)
  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Facilities
  • Real Estate 


  • Personnel and Organisation: responsible for drafting policy on personnel and organisation and developing activities and instruments based on these policies. It also supports and advises managers.
  • VWS Flex: matches available staffing capacity with units that temporarily require extra staff for work on major issues. VWS Flex thus enables results-focused, flexible deployment of Ministry staff and reduces the need to hire external staff.
  • Operational management: responsible for the smooth functioning of the Ministry and advises senior management and departments on matters concerning facilities, real estate and procurement.
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Information Management:  provides information systems that are appropriate to the needs of the various Ministry units. The division sits on the CIO Council and advises the OBP director, for instance in connection with management meetings on IT.
  • Support Office: supports the department’s primary processes and is made up of the following units:
    • operational management and support
    • organisation of events
    • communications
    • procurement, finance and control
    • strategic advice
    • process and quality management
    • drivers

Legislation and Legal Affairs Department (WJZ)

Director: Marijke Bogtstra 


WJZ provides policy guidance on matters relating to legislation, its application and legal procedures.  


  • Group 1 Objections and review
  • Group 2 Health protection and medical ethics
  • Group 3 Youth care, the Healthcare Professions Act (BIG) and involuntary care
  • Group 4 Public access to government information
  • Group 5 Organisation and funding of care
  • Group 6 Specialist legal advice
  • Group 7 Operational management

Administrative and Political Affairs Department (BPZ)

Director: Eline Scheper

BPZ acts as a linchpin between the political leadership and senior civil servants and the rest of the ministry.  Together with other departments, BPZ acts in an advisory capacity to support decision-making by the political leadership and senior civil servants. BPZ also supports the various parts of the ministry in their ownership role and ensures the Ministry has a safe and supportive working environment.


  • Advice
  • Information flows
  • Political advisers

Information Policy Department / CIO (DICIO)

Director: Bianca Rouwenhorst


The Directorate Information Policy/Chief Information Officer (DICIO) works on clear, consistent, and cohesive policies aimed at realizing a healthcare information system. Data availability and the trust and say of the citizen and healthcare provider are central to this. Data must be available, accessible, and usable for the citizen and all stakeholders in the healthcare network so it can be utilized for prevention, the primary healthcare process, and, for example, research, monitoring, and innovation. Of course, with a strong emphasis on safety and privacy. In doing so, we support the transition from healthcare to health that is necessary to continue to provide good, affordable, and accessible healthcare.

In the short term, the focus is on organizing data exchange in line with the Wegiz and the agreements from the Integral Care Agreement (IZA). DICIO does this in collaboration with other VWS directorates, concern departments, ministries, and the parties in the healthcare field.

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the CIO office provide advice, establish frameworks, and conduct assessments in the field of information provision within VWS.


DICIO operates with 7 clusters:

  • Realization: carries out customized software and tools that contribute to accelerating digitization in healthcare.
  • Policy: 3 policy clusters work on creating and promoting data availability.
  • Direction: focuses on internal and external management in the field of data exchange in healthcare.
  • CIO office: provides advice, establishes frameworks, and conducts assessments in the field of information provision for the concern organizations.
  • Staff: ensures the optimal functioning of the directorate.

Disciplinary Boards and Review Committees (Secretariats) Unit (ESTT)

Director: Katinka Knoop


ESTT comprises the secretariats and support office for:

  • 5 regional healthcare disciplinary boards 
  • the Central Healthcare Disciplinary Board 
  • the Medical Disciplinary Board for the Netherlands in the Caribbean
  • 5 regional euthanasia review committees
  • the Central Committee on Termination of Life (Neonates) and Late-term Abortions 

The members of the disciplinary boards are lawyers and health professionals. The members of the review committees are lawyers, ethicists and physicians. The legal basis for these bodies is laid down in the Healthcare Professions Act and the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act. The boards and committees are independent.

Personal Budget (PGB) Programme Department

Director: Karin Hobbelen


The Personal Budget (PGB) Programme Department is responsible for the PGB system in which patients have a budget to procure care from service providers. The department is responsible for developing policy for a PGB2.0 system which will better support budget holders in procuring care and fulfilling their administrative obligations, as well as supporting care organisations and the professionals who provide care.

The PGB Programme Department is the contracting authority for:

  • the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) (implements PGB drawing rights)
  • ICTU (is developing PGB2.0)
  • ODC Noord (data centre that houses and hosts PGB2.0)

COVID-19 Review Programme Department (PD NC-19)

Director: Marijke van der Heijden 


Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ministry has received questions about the precise course of events and the grounds on which various decisions were made. Questions may arise during an evaluation, or be included in a freedom of information request, or be posed by a committee of inquiry. The NC-19 programme department is responsible for coordinating and preparing the responses to these questions. Furthermore, since February 1, 2024, the preparations for the Parliamentary committee of inquiry into COVID-19 is assigned to PDO

Public Access Programme Department (PDO)

Director: Marijke van der Heijden-Schippers
MT: Linda van Leeuwen, Corinne Arnold, Thomas Bakker


Since 1 October 2021, PDO has been tasked with processing freedom of information requests about the COVID-19 crisis. Some 8 million documents need to be assessed to respond to these requests. PDO sets out an approach to ensure the Ministry can comply with the Government Information (Public Access) Act (Woo) within the Ministry.

Healthcare and Youth Care in the Caribbean Netherlands Programme Department (ZJCN)

Director: Herbert Barnard

The department is responsible for policy and legislation concerning health and care in the Caribbean part of the Netherlands (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba).  It is also responsible for the implementation of health insurance and specialist youth care. 

In recent years there has been a lot of investment in curative care, long-term care and public health. The department stepped up collaboration with the health authorities of Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the department’s staff are posted in Saba, St Eustatius and Bonaire, and work with ZJCN colleagues in The Hague to improve health and care for the islands’ residents.


  • Providing support to COVID-19 crisis management in the entire Caribbean part of the Kingdom. For instance, the department arranged extra ICU capacity, distributed PPE and helped run vaccination drives.
  • Improving and expanding capacity and facilities for curative and long-term care in the Caribbean Netherlands.
  • Agree contracts with care providers and ensure the efficiency and regularity of healthcare expenditure.
  • Improving collaboration with hospitals in the Caribbean Netherlands and in Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.
  • Facilitating, monitoring and managing the roughly 8,000 cases where insured patients need off-island medical care, whether that is to another part of the Kingdom in the Caribbean, another country in the region or to the Netherlands in Europe.
  • Supporting public bodies for social support, prevention, welfare, primary youth care, public health and tackling domestic violence, as well as care institutions in the Caribbean Netherlands. 
  • Aligning policy with the relevant ministries, including in the context of the Steering Committee for the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.