Participation and coordination in Dutch health care policy-making. A network analysis of the system of intermediate organizations in Dutch health care

A.J. Lamping, J. Raab, P.N. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

This study explores the system of intermediate organizations in Dutch health care as the crucial system to understand health care policy-making in the Netherlands. We argue that the Dutch health care system can be understood as a system consisting of distinct but inter-related policy domains. In this study, we analyze four such policy domains: Finances, quality of care, manpower planning and pharmaceuticals. With the help of network analytic techniques, we describe how this highly differentiated system of >200 intermediate organizations is structured and coordinated and what (policy) consequences can be observed with regard to its particular structure and coordination mechanisms. We further analyze the extent to which this system of intermediate organizations enables participation of stakeholders in policy-making using network visualization tools. The results indicate that coordination between the different policy domains within the health care sector takes place not as one would expect through governmental agencies, but through representative organizations such as the representative organizations of the (general) hospitals, the health care consumers and the employers’ association. We further conclude that the system allows as well as denies a large number of potential participants access to the policy-making process. As a consequence, the representation of interests is not necessarily balanced, which in turn affects health care policy. We find that the interests of the Dutch health care consumers are well accommodated with the national umbrella organization NPCF in the lead. However, this is no safeguard for the overall community values of good health care since, for example, the interests of the public health sector are likely to be marginalized. Keywords: Dutch health care, system of intermediate organizations, health care policy, network analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-222
JournalHealth Promotion International
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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