Netherlands collaborating centre working on new approach to primary care


From left: Walter Devillé and Francois Schellevis (NIVEL), Hans Kluge and Christine Beerepoot (WHO/Europe), Peter Groenewegen (NIVEL), Zsuzsanna Jakab (WHO/Europe) and Wienke Boerma (NIVEL)

On 20 February 2012, WHO/Europe agreed key research areas for the next two years with the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), a WHO collaborating centre for primary care.

Work will focus on achieving sustainable and measurable outcomes, based on the new conceptual approach of giving primary care a pivotal role in the health-service delivery system.
NIVEL will draft research proposals on:

  • the role of primary care in the health-care delivery system to address co- and multimorbidity; and
  • new ways to achieve people-centred care in the system.

The new approach also means that products and new developments in primary care must be aligned with work to strengthen the health-service delivery system. The collaborating centre will adapt its primary-care evaluation tool so that it can be used to evaluate multiple countries. Ministries of health and other stakeholders currently use the tool, in the form of a survey, to look at both the supply and demand of primary care, monitor progress on primary-care policies and set new priorities based on evidence. In addition, peer review of the tool is planned to occur by the end of 2012.

Further, NIVEL is developing a noncommunicable-disease module based on the tool to assess the effectiveness of interventions and activities in primary care and to map the situation in countries.

Finally, NIVEL will continue its work with other European collaborating centres for primary care:

  • the International Centre for Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Ghent University, Belgium; and
  • the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health, Medical School, University of Zagreb, Croatia.