Health Care Governance (HCG)

Healthcare is in permanent flux with many new actors, instruments, and regulations entering the field. In recent years care arrangements have shifted – examples include the introduction and further development of regulated competition and decentralization to municipalities. Consequently, the position and functioning of policy and supervision has changed, especially in their relation to managers, professionals and patients. Think about the rise of patient self-management and shifts in task distribution between professional groups. The question ‘who cares?’ can no longer be answered by pointing at healthcare workers alone but needs to include many actors and levels of organization. We study the new roles, position and identities of practitioners, patients and regulators, and how they interact and steer healthcare.

The basis of our work is a reflective engagement with healthcare (regulatory) practices. Through projects as well as strategic partnerships we engage with practitioners and regulators to understand governance ‘from within’. We are specialized in ethnographic and discursive research methods. Studying ‘who cares’ needs a detailed focus on both healthcare and regulatory practices. Moreover, the complexity of healthcare makes that new regulations have unpredictable consequences—necessitating feedback into new regulations. Given the increasing and formative roles of knowledge and (information) technologies in healthcare we moreover not only want to study social and political processes but their intertwinement with knowledge and technology.

Our leading researchers – Roland Bal, Antoinette de Bont, Pauline Meurs, Kim Putters – all have extensive networks in healthcare practice and in academia, both nationally and internationally. Strategic partnerships with the Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate (with a leading role for Ian Leistikow), the National Health Care Institute (through Diana Delnoij) and the Association of directors in healthcare (Richard Janssen) give us a strong footing in Dutch healthcare practice. Our affiliation with the research schools on Science, Technology and Modern Culture, and the Netherlands Institute of Governance, next to many collaborations with academic departments in the Netherlands and internationally, make for a strong academic context.