How will the Netherlands improve the internationalisation of its successful healthcare sector?
On 16 December 2014 the Top: Healthcare and Export was held in the Ridderzaal, The Hague. The event was opened by the Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers and it soon transpired that: ‘in many areas the Netherlands is a world player in healthcare and the world has a serious need for smart Dutch healthcare solutions’. The question was not ‘whether’ but ‘how’ the Netherlands can bring its healthcare strengths and the hundreds of healthcare organisations (especially SMEs) within the Top Sector LSH (named Health~Holland) across the border.
Following the Top: Healthcare and Export a workgroup was put together to realise a thorough International Strategy in which clear ambitions and concrete actions are stated. It contained representatives from the public sector (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency) and the private sector (Task Force Health Care on behalf of the Dutch LSH Alliance). On 17 November 2015 the International Strategy was officially presented to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers, during her visit to the Health~Holland Pavillion at the Medica trade fair in Düsseldorf.
Besides healthcare missions, meetings, advisory services, publications, Holland Branding and incoming visits, the Health~Holland Pavillion at the Medica trade fair is an example of how the government can support SMEs and knowledge institutions from the medical sector in doing international business. The International Strategy is primarily intended to provide even better support to a large group of healthcare organisations during the export process and in acquiring international innovation and research funding, as well as internationally promoting the Dutch healthcare sector and attracting foreign investments to the Netherlands.