The Netherlands remains the best country according to the European Health Consumer Index

The Dutch healthcare system scores the highest in Europe in the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI). This is the annual comparison of health systems. In the category of medicines, the Netherlands scores 8.9.

The EHCI assesses European countries for six different categories. One is about medicines. The category of medicines consists of six parts. In this category, the Netherlands scores 'good' and 'neutral' in four parts. Furthermore, in this category the Netherlands scores 89 out of 100 points. With this, the Netherlands shares first place with Germany. 


In the category medicines, the EHCI looks at the use of antibiotics. In the Netherlands, antibiotic use is the lowest in Europe. Increasing antibiotic resistance, bacteria insensitive to antibiotics, means it is particularly important that doctors are cautious in prescribing antibiotics. The EHCI study shows that people in the Netherlands are well aware that antibiotics do not help against colds and flu.

Voice of the patient

The Swedish Health Consumer Powerhouse publishes a new edition of the EHCI every year. According to the EHCI, the Dutch healthcare system has few weak spots. The voice of the patient is heard and access to the care is well arranged. The researchers note that 'decisions in healthcare are taken to an unusually high degree by medical professionals with the cooperation of patients and not by the government'.

Best health care system

The Netherlands has been ranked first in the EHCI since 2008. As the Netherlands is also structurally in the top 4 of specialist indexes on diabetes, HIV and hepatitis, the EHCI no longer speaks exclusively of the most consumer-friendly care system. They indicate that it can now be said that in general the Netherlands has the best healthcare system in Europe. 

EHCI 2017 research report

European Parliament votes for EMA in the Netherlands

The European Parliament has approved the relocation of the European Medicine Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam, provided that the authorities submit quarterly reports on the progress of the construction of the new office in Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district. A large majority of the parliament (507 against 112) voted for the Netherlands as EMA's new location.


The employees working at the agency also prefer Amsterdam above the other candidate cities. According to a survey taken by the EMA itself, 81% of the employees are willing to move to the Netherlands when the agency is relocated to Amsterdam. As the EMA counts almost 900 employees this is a major asset for the Netherlands.

According to Jan Huitema (VVD): “The Netherlands has shown its ability to accommodate EMA. It is not for nothing that Amsterdam is the employees’ preference.’’

EMA building

The EMA will move from London to Amsterdam by no later than 30 March 2019, but the first employees are likely to come to the Dutch capital earlier. The employees will be temporarily accommodated in the Spark building in Amsterdam until construction of the new building has been completed in November 2019.

Click here for EMA's Tracking Tool, showing the main milestones and deliverables for the Agency's move to Amsterdam.

Read all about the advantages of setting up your business in the Netherlands in the special bidbook for the biopharmaceutical industry. It demonstrates all the reasons why the Netherlands is a top location for pharmaceutical operations for those biopharmaceutical companies that are interested in locating their company in the Netherlands. Read the bidbook

Join the second edition of the Global Scale-Up Programme to expand and scale-up your business

24-25 Sept 2018, Amsterdam / 24-30 October 2018, California

The Global Scale-up Program, sponsored by main partner Health~Holland, is developed to help ventures expand and scale-up their businesses. During this programme entrepreneurs will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for scaling-up a life sciences and medical devices venture. They start with a baseline assessment to compare their venture to US and European competitors. Based on the outcome, they will receive one-on-one mentoring to guide them with their decision-making on how to increase the value of their venture. Subsequently they will embark upon an investment journey to Southern California. 

This course is developed for members of a venture team, one to three years from launching their product, moving their focus from technical innovation to business preparation. In this phase business insights are becoming increasingly important for success. This leads to challenges such as: What makes a company attractive for investors? How does one prepare best for a next-investor round? In which countries to launch a product? How to prepare for marketing the product? What should the management team look like in a business environment? 

To address these challenges, the programme will allow ventures to:  

· Learn how to strategize their market positioning and launch within one to three years.

· Learn how to select optimal market entry points and the optimal partner or investor.

· Experience different techniques for venture branding and communication.

· Scan US market exploration in key regions for their venture.

· Learn to think as a global formal investor and translate this to their own venture proposition.

· Improve their pitching skills and subsequently pitch to US investors to obtain funding.

Register before 1 June to participate in the intake day (15 June). To register or if you have any questions, please email  For more information please visit the Global Scale-Up Program website.

The Global Scale-up Program is powered by main partner Health~Holland (Top Sector Life Sciences & Health). 

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