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Dutch Hospital Association

The Dutch Hospital Association (NVZ) is the trade association for general hospitals and specialist institutions in the Netherlands. We represent the interests of our members where healthcare, economy and society are concerned.

Since our establishment on December 19, 1991, the NVZ has grown to be an influential lobbyist in the healthcare sector. The association ensures that the Dutch hospital sector is a strong sector.

The NVZ is based in Utrecht. Over 60 people work at the NVZ office under the leadership of its director.

About NVZ

Our members are both general hospitals and specialist centers in audiology, cancer, rehabilitation, dialysis, radiation treatment, and more. The NVZ currently counts over 100 healthcare institutions as members. 

View our members

Our objective is to create the conditions and protections our members need to provide high-quality and effective specialist medical care to their patients. For the NVZ this means care that, from a medical standpoint, leads to the best possible result.


In the years since the NVZ was founded, the healthcare landscape has changed considerably. The most obvious change has been the government’s continued withdrawal from healthcare, and its cultivation of a system where patients, care providers, and health insurance companies take over the responsibilities. This is precisely why the NVZ is necessary. 

Quality care

Quality care is increasingly in demand – by the government, by insurance companies, but especially by patients. This offers opportunities for the hospital sector. At the top of the NVZ’s agenda, therefore, are making quality transparent, making care measurable, and providing insight into the diversity of hospitals and healthcare institutions.

The board of the NVZ consists of an independent chairperson and 10 members, each of whom hold a managerial position at a member institution of the NVZ. The chair is Mr. Ad Melkert, former Minister for Social Affairs and Employment. On behalf of the NVZ, Mr. Ad Melkert is a member of the Governing Council of the International Hospital Federation (IHF).

NVZ board

The NVZ also represents Dutch hospitals’ interests abroad. In Europe, through HOPE and HOSPEEM, we join European politicians in Brussels in their discussions around healthcare. In addition, the NVZ is a member of the International Hospital Federation (IHF).

The hospital sector is made up of organizations which offer a complete package of specialist medical care. Specialist medical care includes curative care and other specialist care for chronic and terminal diseases. “Complete package” means that within the organization, the entire chain of diagnostics, treatment, nursing and care is available.

Independent treatment centers

In addition to hospitals, other institutes exist which provide specialist medical care, notably independent treatment centers (ITCs, or ZBCs in Dutch) and private clinics. The difference between these 2 facilities is that ITC care falls under the scope of the Dutch Health Insurance Act. Such care entails non-emergency, planned care for which the patient does not have to be admitted. An ITC is always a partnership between 2 or more medical specialists.

Private clinics

Private clinics are all other forms of private specialist medical care, such as non-insured care and sole practitioners. It can be the case that at an ITC, both insured and non-insured care are offered.

Best healthcare in the world

Healthcare in the Netherlands is among the best in the world. Since 2008, the Netherlands has ranked first in the Euro Health Consumer Index. The healthcare industry works hard for this. For example, patient safety is a permanent topic on the agenda: all Dutch hospitals have now implemented a safety management system. Healthcare is also accessible to everyone: healthcare organizations have good geographical coverage around the country, and each and every one of them provide a high quality of care. The website gives patients access to information on this quality.

Facts & figures

See more facts & figures about the Dutch hospital sector (in Dutch) on the website

Ziekenhuiszorg in cijfers

In general, hospital revenues come in 3 categories:

  • A segment: the A segment is budgeted.
  • B segment: in the B segment, hospitals and insurance companies negotiate the prices of the case mixes or diagnosis-related groups (DRGs, or DBCs in Dutch).
  • Other proceeds: other proceeds includes non-budgeted benefits, grants from the Education Funds in healthcare, and other proceeds.


The A and B segments constitute the revenue from care delivered by a particular hospital. In 2011, the total turnover of general hospitals reached 13.7 billion euros.

Since Januari 1st, 2014 insured European clients can obtain medical treatment everywhere in the European Union (EU) (free movement of persons). The EU-legislation requires all members of the European Union to have a National Contact Point (NCP) where European civilians can find information about treatments in other countries of the European Union. 

More information can be found on the website of the National Contact Point.

National Contact Point