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Tilburg University and CZ pool expertise in Healthcare System Knowledge Institute

Published: 16th March 2021 Last updated: 18th March 2021

One of the prominent themes of this year’s general elections was the public healthcare system. All political parties have made healthcare a priority on their agendas, with positions ranging from preserving or redesigning the system to introducing a health insurance fund. Tilburg University (specifically, the Tilburg School of Economics and Management) and healthcare insurer CZ will be working together in the Healthcare System Knowledge Institute/Academic Collaborative Center for the purpose of gathering and creating knowledge of healthcare systems, the Dutch system in particular. To many parties such knowledge is indispensable for outlining a well-substantiated policy. On March 18, 2021, Tilburg University and CZ signed an agreement formalizing their collaboration.

The Academic Collaborative Center aims to improve the operational efficacy of the Dutch healthcare system in such a way that the system more successfully meets its public quality, accessibility, and financial sustainability targets. Solutions are sought firstly in the basic healthcare insurance and then specifically in the healthcare purchasing market and health insurance market. “Debates on the choices made in healthcare and in our healthcare system are often dominated by theoretical ideas or ideological images. As a result, there is a major risk that we lose sight of effectiveness in the process. With this academic collaboration, we want to achieve objective and scientific insights. Evidence-based insights can make an important contribution to political decision-making. In this way, we can also retain our position as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world also in the future,” says Joël Gijzen of CZ.

Collaboration in research and education

The Healthcare System Knowledge Institute has appointed a PhD student who is employed by CZ and whose research will be supervised by a professor of Tilburg University. In addition, every academic year, one Master’s student of Economics will do an internship at the Knowledge Institute and complete their internship with a Master’s thesis. Also, separate strands of research directed by the Institute will be conducted by researchers and PhD students of Tilburg University. What makes this collaboration special is that the researchers have access to the practical knowledge and expertise CZ has to offer as well as to anonymized claims data. In recent year, studies have been conducted into the effectiveness of a single-payer versus a multi-payer healthcare system, the existence of natural monopolies in Dutch healthcare, and various production incentives depending on the type of employment of health care providers.

Geert Duijsters (TiSEM) en Joep de Groot (CZ)

Geert Duijsters (Dean Tllburg School of Economics and Management) and Joep de Groet ( Member of the Board CZ ) signed an agreement formalizing their collaboration.

Unique in the Netherlands

The Knowledge Institute does not evaluate the implementation of healthcare policy as such but puts the principles and parameters of the system itself under the microscope. One of the dimensions the Institute examines in detail concerns the welfare effects of changes to these principles and parameters. “Bringing together the experience and knowhow of CZ and the expertise of Tilburg University in the area of health and market economics creates a unique starting point for evaluating and improving the Dutch healthcare system and others like it," says Professor Jan Boone, one of the members of the steering committee.

Steering committee

The steering committee of the Academic Collaborative Center has four members, two for each of the two collaborative partners.

  • For CZ: J. Gijzen MSc and M. Kant Msc
  • For Tilburg University: Professor G.M. Duijsters and Professor J. Boone
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