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Centre for Public Health in Economics and Business

Faculty of Economics and Business
Centre for Public Health in Economics and Business Events Conferences

2013 - Kick off conference


On 12 April 2013, the kick-off conference for Healthwise took place. After the opening by our Dean of Faculty, Prof. Harry Garretsen, the first keynote speech was delivered by Prof. Gerard van den Berg from the prestigious University of Mannheim. He addressed the question to what extent people's economic circumstances at birth influence their health later in life. So, what are the long-term effects, and what are the determinants of health and death? For one, it is becoming clear that life span and economic climate correlate: the worse the economy in a person's year of birth, the shorter they live.

Prof. Rien Meijerink, President of the Council for Public Health and Health Care (RVZ), gave the second keynote lecture about healthcare expenditure and solidarity. He outlined the enormous increase in healthcare spending in the Netherlands, from 4% of GNP in 1975 and 6% in 2000, to 13% today. Due to the increase in the number of chronically ill, the high costs of pharmaceuticals and relatively expensive geriatric care, compared to the European average, healthcare costs have skyrocketed, cannibalising other public expenditure. Meanwhile, this is starting to put pressure on the funding of our healthcare system. Meijerink's solutions include better planning and less overuse of care, a shift from public to private, the introduction of disruptive innovations despite the funding obstacles, as well as a focus on prevention and a healthy lifestyle. His call for healthy living corresponded nicely with the plea made by the Council for Public Health and Health Care (RVZ) for a move ‘from conditions that require care to behaviour that enhances health’.

Subsequently, there was an initial round of workshops by administrators and professors first, then by our PhD students. The subjects of the first round of workshops included: Innovation, Lean, Patient Safety, Healthy Behaviour and Privatisation. The second round of workshops saw the following themes addressed: Integral Logistic Planning, Management of Professionals, Prolonged Independent Living and Ageing & Pension Reform. They provided a good image of the breadth of the research into Health Economics & Healthcare Management at our Faculty.

The kick-off conference was concluded with a debate about geriatric care, led by Prof. Kees Ahaus. Prof. Joris Slaets argued that, for the elderly, the focus should shift from prevention, aimed at the large group of dynamic seniors, to functional status for an intermediate group, and ultimately to pleasure in life for the small group of highly vulnerable seniors with complex care needs. The question ‘what else would you wish for?’, addressing the positive wellbeing and the pleasure in life of these highly vulnerable seniors, is not being posed enough in practice. According to Prof. Erik Buskens, the UG’s Faculty of Economics and Business and the UMCG face a major societal challenge that he calls ‘Choose Healthwisely’. The ambition is to push back the life phase of deteriorating health and dwindling quality of life, which usually starts around the age of 50 and is characterised by having to undergo various interventions. Level of education will be an important factor in pushing back this curve of decline. The debate touched upon the importance of phenomena like transferring secondary to primary healthcare and to an area in between, healthcare 1.5, as well as stimulating self-reliance in one’s own surroundings. It also urged people in the final phase of their life to think really carefully about the sorts of interventions they are still willing to accept. Kees Ahaus concluded by presenting the four categories of the Healthwise research agenda: context, organisation, patients and employees.

It is clear that Healthwise is off to a flying start! Content of the Kick-off Conference How to keep healthcare affordable? Is it possible to introduce more competition in healthcare? What is (un)necessary care? How can leadership in healthcare be unifying? How can the elderly live independently for longer? How can healthcare processes be planned more efficiently?

The answers can usually be found through close cooperation between practice and academia. It is for this reason that the Healthwise Expertise Centre at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen organised its kick-off conference around these subjects on Friday 12 April 2013.


We were proud to welcome prominent speakers from academia and healthcare practice, including keynote speakers Prof. Gerard van den Berg from the University of Mannheim and Prof. M.H. (Rien) Meijerink, President of the Council for Public Health and Health Care (RVZ).

Managers and academics

Several workshops reported on the experiences of innovative healthcare organisations like De Hoven, Meander Zorggroep, Vanboeijen, the UMCG and Nij Smellinghe. The academic perspective was provided by influential academics Prof. Marcel Canoy, Ecorys and Tilburg University; Prof. Kees Ahaus, UG; Prof. Erik Heineman, UMCG; and Mariacristina De Nardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The conference was concluded with a debate between Prof. Joris Slaets and Prof. Erik Buskens, both UMCG, about the future of geriatric care.

Programme, including slides, only available in Dutch
  • Word of welcome by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the UG, Prof. Harry Garretsen. Location: Blauwe zaal
  • Keynote lecture - Prof. Gerard van den Berg, University of Mannheim: ‘Long-term effects of economic circumstances at birth on health and cognition at old age’
  • Keynote lecture - Prof. Rien Meijerink, President of the Council for Public Health and Health Care:
  • ‘Healthcare expenditures and solidarity’

Parallel sessions, part 1



Patient Safety

Healthy Behaviour


eHealth eNough? or pHealth?

( slides )

Henk Sol, UG

Management on location using Lean - Joint responsibility and cooperative working
( slides )

Pieter de Kroon, director of Vanboeijen

Evaluation VMS Safety programme ( slides )

Carolien de Blok, postdoc researcher at NIVEL

The SamenGezond project: tension between distrust and durability

Rob van Willegen,
Programme manager Strategy & Innovation at Menzis

Why cost cutting in healthcare still doesn't work
slides )

Marcel Canoy, Ecorys

Developing modular geriatric care ( slides )

Monique van der Laan

Lean interventions and performance improvement ( slides )

Oskar Roemeling

Medical specialists: risk of legal charges and incident-disclosure behaviour
slides )

Erik Renkema

The impulsive choice for health: How subtle cues in our surroundings can point us in the right, healthy direction

Stephanie Salmon

What drives healthcare financing privatisations: political or economic factors? Empirical evidence from OECD ( slides )

Rasmus Wiese

Parallel sessions, part 2

How effective is pharmaceutical marketing?

Integral logistic planning

Management of professionals

Living independently longer

Ageing and pension reforms

Which physicians to visit for a successful market introduction of new pharmaceuticals, and when to visit them.

Jaap Wieringa , UG


Taco van der Vaart, UG

Outpatients and OR: availability of specialists and communicating vessels ( slides )

Pieter Buwalda, Nij Smellinghe
Monique Bakker

A theory of sustainable healthcare quality and safety through Clinical Governance
slides )

Erik Heineman, UMCG

Demand-driven care in the ‘Samen Oud’ project (Growing Old Together)

Ronald Uittenbroek Projectleider| PhD student at

The Savings of the Elderly
slides )

Mariacristina De Nardi (Senior Economist and Research Advisor Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

A matter of choice: How marketing and persistence influence the choice of pharmaceuticals.

Niels Holtrop

Integration of planning in orthopaedic patient streams

Taco van der Vaart

The influence of colleagues’ helping behaviour on the job satisfaction and resignation intentions of nurses
slides )

Gerdien Regts

ICT adoption among the elderly
slides )

Marjolein van Offenbeek and Albert Boonstra present research by Eveline Hage

Saving and portfolio-management behaviour after retirement

( slides )

Raun van Ooijen

  • Prof. Joris Slaets (slides), Prof. Erik Buskens (slides) and Prof. Kees Ahaus debate about the future of geriatric care
  • Closing words and short presentation of the Healthwise research agenda by Prof. Kees Ahaus (slides)

Last modified:18 August 2020 11.35 a.m.
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