Our exploration of the Dutch healthcare system began on 29 January 2024 with an enlightening introductory lecture by Professor Ronald Batenburg
, Research Programme Coordinator at Nivel
, the Dutch Institute for Health Services Research.
The afternoon then took us on our first professional visit to Sanquin
, a not-for-profit organisation that is the mainstay of blood services in the Netherlands. The institute is a source of knowledge in transfusion medicine and immunology, conducting cutting-edge scientific research. Their expertise extends to the development and production of a range of pharmaceutical and diagnostic services. At Sanquin, clear agreements, the courage to challenge standards and a sense of responsibility are the driving forces. Employees actively identify areas for improvement and take proactive measures. Notably, the innovative 'Young Blood' initiative was born, a dynamic network created by young professionals to share knowledge, inspiration and build links between departments.
The following day, our delegation of 20 healthcare executives had the opportunity to discover the Isala hospital
, where 7,000 dedicated professionals are committed every day to providing the best care for their patients. With 690,000 people choosing Isala as their hospital of choice for general care, the hospital stands out for its specialised general medical care and high-level clinical services, including several specialist functions. As a result, Isala has become a leading trauma centre for Zwolle and the surrounding area, also housing a specialist intensive care unit for newborn babies. An impressive demonstration of the commitment to excellence in healthcare.
To round off this second day of the study mission, we met with the American Nurses Association
(ANA), the flagship organisation representing the interests of the 4 million registered nurses in the United States. Founded in 1896, the ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of healthcare for all, introducing the innovative concept of the "magnet hospital". With members in all 50 US states and territories, the ANA remains the strongest voice of the nursing profession.
To round off this study mission, which focused on the theme of retaining professionals and collaborative management in healthcare establishments, our delegation discovered Buurtzorg
, a homecare organisation set up by visionary nurse Jos de Blok
in 2006. With now 1,000 teams of Buurtzorg nurses in the Netherlands and international expansion, including France and Canada, Buurtzorg has marked a major turning point in the delivery of home care. A captivating presentation of the organisation by Gertje van Roessel
, highlighting Buurtzorg's innovative approach to reinventing home care.
Thanks to ANAP for its confidence and to all the participants in this study mission.