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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health
Together for more healthy years
Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health
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New Crossborder Institute of Healthcare Systems and Prevention

Datum:20 maart 2019
Kick-off Crossborder Institute
Kick-off Crossborder Institute

The Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health and the Department for Health Services Research at the University of Oldenburg will set-up a new Crossborder Institute of Healthcare Systems and Prevention. Jochen Mierau, Scientific Director of the AJSPH, is excited about the new institute: "The Cross-Border Health Institute allows us to create a tangible Europe on our doorstep. By leveraging the strengths of two world-class health care systems we can move a step closer to more healthy years in both regions and beyond."


The European Union has brought unprecedented benefits to the citizens especially freedom of movement for people, services and goods. Despite these achievements, not everybody personally understands, experiences or cherishes the advantages of the EU, mostly due to a broadly felt distance between the EU, its institutions and the European citizens. The EU would profit immensely from practical policies to make the benefits of the Union more visible and tangible for the people.

Health is such a tangible topic, recognised as a central issue in life among everybody throughout Europe, but contrary to goods, capital, services and labour, that can move freely, healthcare still encounters the hurdles of national borders and crossborder healthcare-related activities, employment and structures are rare. Both, the European Commission and the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) recently reported that the European Directive on cross-border healthcare (2011/24/EU) still has not reached its desired effect. 

The Dutch and the German belong to the best healthcare systems in Europe, yet they are very different from each other. In both systems, citizens and healthcare professionals encounter advantages as well as challenges. These differences in structure, processes, financial incentives and outcomes are important for the understanding of best practices and practical recommendations to policy makers for shaping future healthcare. In an ageing society and an increasingly cost-driven care system, we envision that prevention will need to prevail over the curative approach in medicine.

It will be crucial to find scientifically based evidence to the best preventive-driven health incentives. This can be done by comparing our two health(care) systems, draw conclusion for major future challenges and use it for translation and implementation.

New Crossborder Research Institute

The Crossborder Institute of Healthcare Systems and Prevention will further strengthen ongoing collaborations (Interreg-projects, the European Medical School, Graduate School) and foster them to the level of systems comparison in healthcare. The collaboration will lead to a long-term cooperation between Niedersachsen and the North of the Netherlands building the nucleus for a European healthcare region and knowledge-based market. 

The different healthcare systems in the Netherlands and Germany allow a unique comparative approach, where the two sides of the border can become two natural cohorts with a comparable socio-economic background, where real differences and prevention-favouring drivers can be studied in a “living environment” and where we can learn from each other’s best practices.

The kick-off of the Crossborader Research Institute took place on Tuesday 19 March. 

Kick-off Crossborder Institute
Kick-off Crossborder Institute