Organogram of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport: Directorate-General for Health

Director-General: Marjolijn Sonnema 

Departments and programmes

  • Public Health Department (PG)
  • Nutrition, Health Protection and Prevention Department (VGP)
  • Sports Department (DS)
  • International Affairs Department (IZ)
  • Pandemic Preparedness Programme Department
  • COVID-19 and Public Health Programme Department (PDCV)
  • COVID-19 Information and Coordination Programme Department (PDCIC)

Public Health Department (PG)

Director: Florien van der Windt


The Public Health Department covers the field of public healthcare in the Netherlands. Its tasks include promoting general health in the population, preventing disease and dealing with medical-ethical questions and dilemmas. A healthy population benefits society in many ways. The department raises this issue with other public bodies, civil society actors and businesses, and facilitates their efforts in this area.

The department is the contracting authority for the Health Council of the Netherlands and ZonMW. 

Key topics

  • Local public health policy, including reducing socioeconomic health disparities
  • National Immunisation Programme
  • Control of infectious diseases
  • Sexual health
  • Population screening (various forms of cancer, prenatal screening)
  • Child health services
  • Combating antimicrobial resistance
  • Medical-ethical issues such as euthanasia, ‘completed life’, abortion and reproductive health, policy document on medical ethics
  • Prevention, including implementation of the National Prevention Pact
  • Solid Start [Kansrijke Start] programme
  • Seven-point plan for unplanned pregnancy, with a focus on vulnerable groups including teenagers


  • Healthy Lifestyle and Prevention (GLP)
  • Vaccinations and Infectious Diseases (V&I)
  • Population Screening and Medical Ethics (BME)
  • Strategy and Organisation (S&O)

Nutrition, Health Protection and Prevention Department (VGP)

Director: Victor Sannes


VGP is a policy department geared to promoting and protecting public health. It develops policy on healthy lifestyle, healthy weight, healthy diet, food safety, prevention of injury, product safety, alcohol, drugs and tobacco. The instruments it uses include information, assistance, self-regulation, legislation, enforcement, excise, research and international cooperation.

Sports Department (DS)

Director: Nicole Huppertz


The department drafts policy to promote participation in sport across society, which offers everyone tailored and safe opportunities for sport and exercise. Sporting excellence is also promoted.

Key topics

  • Removing obstacles to participation in sport and physical activity, and ensuring everyone has access to facilities for sport and exercise close to home.
  • Promoting a safe environment in which everyone can enjoy participating in sport and exercise activities without feeling threatened in any way.
  • Promoting fair play and good governance of sports organisations.
  • Strengthening sports science and promoting innovations in the field of sport and physical exercise.
  • Striving for the Netherlands to be among the top 10 countries for elite sports, including parasports.
  • Supporting the hosting of attractive and inspiring sports events at international, national, regional and local levels.

International Affairs Department (IZ)

Director: Roland Driece


International cooperation is essential for effective public health policy, as the global COVID-19 pandemic has shown. The department coordinates and elaborates the Netherlands’ international role in collaborations with other countries as well as within international organisations. To this end, IZ has a network of attachés and seconded staff members at strategic Dutch missions (Brussels, Geneva, Washington DC, Beijing and New Delhi). The department also helps develop policy on issues with a strong international dimension, working closely with the responsible policy departments and/or ministries. IZ also manages the international travel agendas of the ministers, the state secretary and senior management.

Key topics

  • Developing international policy, WHO, EU, G20
  • Health diplomacy 
  • Representing the Netherlands at international bodies
  • Economic diplomacy and bilateral relations

Pandemic Preparedness Programme Department (PPP)

Deputy Director-General: Jaap van Delden
Director: Francine L’Ortye


The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a number of vulnerabilities in our infectious disease control system, which need to fixed now. We should not put this off until a new pandemic presents itself. 
PPP is responsible for improving pandemic preparedness in the domain of public health, in particular with regard to infectious disease control. By building a robust and flexible healthcare landscape and well-organised public health services, we will be ready to tackle a new infectious disease crisis in the future.

COVID-19 and Public Health Programme Department (PDCV)

Director: Hasan Göleli


PDCV is tasked with developing policy on COVID-19-related issues, such as vaccination, testing and contact tracing, the coronavirus entry pass system, quarantine and travel.

COVID-19 Information and Coordination Programme Department (PDCIC)

Directors: Frank Kooiman and Henk Soorsma


PDCIC coordinates parliamentary and legal affairs and political and administrative decision-making processes with regard to COVID-19.

  • Coordinating administrative and parliamentary processes: letters to parliament, dealing with parliamentary questions, preparing debates
  • Coordinating a suitable long-term COVID-19 strategy
  • Coordinating and implementing tasks that were formerly assigned to the National Core Team for Crisis Communication (in Dutch) (coordination and decision-making)
  • Developing a package of suitable measures that considers public health interests as well as social and economic effects
  • Coordinating flows of data and information and making this information available (e.g. via the coronavirus dashboard)
  • Supporting the COVID-19 departments in financial matters, information provision, secretariat tasks, answering letters from members of the public and other stakeholders.