Retiree Professor Eddy Van Doorslaer receives honour of knighthood

Eddy van Doorslaer ontvangt Koninklijke onderscheiding

On Friday, 24 February 2023, on the day of his valedictory lecture, health economist Professor Eddy Van Doorslaer has become a Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands. According to deputy mayor of Rotterdam, Mr. Tim Versnel, Van Doorslaer has been awarded the royal honour for his outstanding contribution to the specialist field of health policy worldwide.

"You have made healthcare fair, not just in the wealthy West but also in countries where this is less the case. Your academic work, managerial abilities and warm personality have been indispensable in this endeavour, both at Erasmus University and far beyond," said deputy mayor Tim Versnel.

Eddy Van Doorslaer retired as a professor of Health Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, after a period of service of 32 years: from 1990 at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, and from 2006 also parttime at Erasmus School of Economics. As such he was a bridge builder between the economic and health sciences at the university, where he created and led a group of health economists in both schools. He was co-founder of the specialisation Health Economics in the Master in Health Economics, Policy and Law, as well as several networks promoting interfaculty cooperation in his field, such as the Rotterdam Global Health Initiative (RGHI), the Smarter Choices for Better Health Initiative (SCBH) and the Erasmus Centre for Health Economics Research (EsCHER). 

World class

"His research in health economics has been recognised internationally as world class. He is a leader in the area of inequalities in health care systems. A book for the World Bank, which he co-wrote, on how to measure and analyse these inequalities, has become a standard work,” said Rector Magnificus Annelien Bredenoord in her introduction. Much of his work was carried out in partnership with - or on behalf of - international organisations like the World Bank, the WHO, UNICEF and the OECD. However, he also made significant contributions to international literature in other fields, such as the economic evaluation of vaccination programmes and elderly care.

'Making Minds Matter'

In 2014, Eddy Van Doorslaer was appointed member of the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Together with his colleagues, he helped Rotterdam become a world-renowned centre for scientific research and education in health economics. In her speech, Rector Magnificus Bredenoord highlighted Van Doorslaer's strong contribution to enhancing the reputation of Erasmus University Rotterdam and making it an international leader in health economics: "Professor Van Doorslaer is truly an example of someone that has strong societal impact through his fundamental research in health economics. With that, he lives the motto of our university: Making Minds Matter."

His farewell address was preceded by the symposium 'Health Economics: what's next?' To mark the occasion, a new annual award for health economics was announced: the Eddy Van Doorslaer Award. This emphasises his enormous and lasting influence in the field. The Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam also awarded the professor with the Desiderius recognition this afternoon. This is a prestigious award for members of the academic community that have made themselves exceptionally useful for the university and society.

More information

For more information, please contact Patricia Kemp via or +31 10 408 8878.

Would you like to watch the valedictory lecture of Professor Van Doorslaer? You can watch it here.

Shortly before his retirement, Professor Van Doorslaer was interviewed by two colleagues.

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