Organization of Public Health in the Netherlands
The institutional architecture of public health in the Netherlands is regulated by the Public Health Act (2008), based on the principle of state responsibility for collective prevention. Increasingly, responsibilities for public health are laid down at the level of municipalities, making their Community Health Services (CHS's) the central pillar in Dutch public health organization. From the national level municipalities and their CHS's are supported by a National Institute of Public Health and several health promotion knowledge institutes. The implementation of interventions at the local level is orchestrated by the CHS's and requires ample knowledge and organisational skills to collaborate with a large number of stakeholders such as schools and primary health care for positive effects on health risk factors/health determinants. In addition municipalities do influence those health risk factors/health determinants with their local health policies and CHS's with their public health basic tasks as youth health care, infectious disease control, vaccination and health promotion. Actual policy is the alignment of public health with cure, care and social welfare for prevention, and health and social actionon well-known spearheads of lifestyle such as smoking, harmful alcohol consumption and overweight. (original abstract)
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