Directorate-general Health

Director-General: drs. M. (Marjolijn) Sonnema


Public health, nutrition, health protection, prevention and sport, medical technology, knowledge, professions and training

Public Health Department (PG)

Director: mw.drs. O.F. Scheidel (Ciska)


The Public Health Department covers the field of public health care in the Netherlands. Its tasks are to promote general health, prevent disease, provide a good medical structure for response to crises and disasters and deal with ethical questions and dilemmas in the provision and organisation of care. The department also supports businesses, municipalities and other authorities in drawing up health policies. Its portfolio includes youth health care and local healthcare policy, combating infectious diseases, the government vaccination programme and screening programmes aimed at tackling chronic diseases. The department is also responsible for monitoring implementation of certain legislation, like the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act, the Termination of Pregnancy Act and the Medical Research (Human Subjects) Act.


  • Public Health Care (OGZ)
  • Crisis Control Unit, Medical Assistance in Accidents and Disasters
  • Disease Prevention (ZP)
  • Ethics
  • Financial Policy and Policy Information (FBI)

Nutrition, Health Protection and Prevention Department (VGP)

Director: drs. V.E.A. Sannes


VGP is a policy department geared to promoting and protecting public health. Its policy spearheads are 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: mw. drs. A.C. (Annelies) Pleyte


The Sports Department develops and evaluates policy to enable responsible participation in sports. It does so by promoting:

  • the quality of sports organisation and supervision, the expertise of sports management, adequate support for new talent and former elite athletes, and contributing to the creation and maintenance of an adequate sports infrastructure.
  • integrated policy on sport at international, national, regional and local level, removing barriers to participation, combating negative trends in sport and promoting its positive values.
  • the quality of sport from a number of perspectives (sociocultural, health, the economy, the environment, etc.) and contributing to the accessibility of sporting facilities.


  • Amateur Sports
  • Elite Sports

Youth Department

Director: Leon Wever


The Youth Department coordinates, aligns and streamlines the government's youth and family policy.

It deals with a broad range of youth-related issues relating to organisation, funding and the provision of information, and provides concrete products like the youth monitor and the register of at-risk juveniles. It is also concerned with international policy, youth participation and family policy.

Healthcare Disciplinary Boards Secretariat Unit (EST)

Director: Sytske Boersma


There are six healthcare disciplinary boards in the Netherlands: five regional boards (RTG) and one central board (CTG). They deal with complaints about doctors, dentists, pharmacists, health psychologists, psychotherapists, physiotherapists, midwives and nurses. The disciplinary boards are independent bodies established by law. The Unit, which encompasses six secretariats (one for each board) and an office for operational management, provides legal and administrative assistance to the Healthcare Disciplinary Boards.

Secure Youth Care Implementation Unit (UGJ)

UGJ carries out tasks related to the steering of secure youth care institutions. It serves all these institutions and maintains contact with them individually.

The work of the unit includes preparing and awarding grant applications and assessing construction and renovation applications by secure youth care institutions. It also provides management information on such institutions.