Access to Funding

Minister Schippers launches smart ‘Health Deals’

Edith Schippers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, officially launched the start of ‘Health Deals’ on 16 November. She did this on her own behalf and that of her colleague Henk Kamp (Minister of Economic Affairs) by opening a digital helpdesk for information about and support with the start-up of these healthcare projects. A Health Deal is a new form of collaboration between public and private parties that enables innovative and cost-saving healthcare innovations to be realised and made broadly applicable. Schippers symbolically opened the digital helpdesk at during the FME Annual Event in Utrecht. 

To qualify as a Health Deal, the intended innovation – whether it is a technological or a social innovation or combination – must have a clear benefit for the patient and save costs. For patients, this means a health benefit or an improvement in their quality of life or the control over their lives. It is also vital that the innovation results in existing, outdated applications no longer being used. After all, innovations are only cost effective once they fully replace something and are not merely added to existing options.

Another condition is that users and patients be clearly involved in the development: in collaboration with industry, the initiative must lie with them and therefore the approach must be bottom up. The government can subsequently encourage the development, for example by solving bottlenecks in legislation and by reducing the administrative burden.

The concept of Health Deals has been developed especially for healthcare innovations that are currently struggling to get beyond the pilot or start-up phases, or that are only used locally (in a single region, hospital or institution). Bringing together users, patients and experts from different disciplines (such as lawyers, economists, privacy experts, system experts) in a Health Deal allows issues to be tackled quickly, and that can lead to a broader application within the Netherlands.

‘A good Health Deal is attractive to everybody: patients, care providers and companies, but also to those paying healthcare insurance premiums,’ said Schippers in Utrecht. ‘With this innovative approach, we are improving healthcare while keeping it affordable.’

For further information, please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.