The authority of the Health Council of the Netherlands is based on the scientific quality of its advisory reports. The Health Council takes different measures to ensure that this authority remains indisputable.
For each advisory report it issues, the Health Council strives to gather the best national experts, preferably from the country’s various university medical centres and universities. The members represent all fields that are relevant to the subject at hand. This multidisciplinary approach ensures a broad and balanced assessment of the state of science in the area about which a report is to be issued. Also, expertise which may not receive considerable attention in the scientific literature can be given a chance by bringing in practical knowledge or patient experiences. The experts in the committee provide their input without hindrance or consultation: they do not act on behalf of factions or institutions. A professional secretariat supports the committee.
Review in Standing Committees
Each advisory report is reviewed by at least one Standing Committee.
International scientific exchange is an extra gauge for a state-of-the-art presentation of the state of knowledge, certainly in areas where little expertise is available. It promotes quality and independence. For this reason, the Health Council cooperates with a number of international organisations.
Periodic evaluation and quality policy
With its quality and evaluation processes, the Health Council constantly strives to improve in order to keep up with the rapid developments in science and society’s increasingly greater demands relating to prevention and care. In 2008 an international committee assessed the Health Council’s working methods and procedures and reached a positive conclusion.