About the Health Campus

Health Campus The Hague has the central mission of working with regional partners to contribute, from a variety of different scientific and clinical perspectives, to maximising the healthy life expectancy of all. The pursuit of this goal revolves around three principles: the reduction of discrepancies in health outcomes, a sustainable approach, and a broad health perspective. In order to achieve this, Health Campus works in cooperation with partners both within and outside the region, through interdisciplinary education, training, and research focussed on proactive clinical policy (population health management in various domains) and the promotion of health. This involves an explicit pursuit of the connection between the medical, social, and societal domains.

Our guiding principles

In the development and execution of our mission, we follow three principles that tie together all our shared academic efforts and priorities:

  • We work to reduce discrepancies in health outcomes. The research, education, training, and activities contribute to reducing discrepancies in health outcomes between subpopulations in society. In the real world, the chances of a healthy life course are not equal for all. Your health and life expectancy depend a great deal on where you live, the education you have been able to enjoy, and how much money you earn. Explicitly focussing on reducing the major discrepancies in health outcomes and life expectancy is one of the most urgent challenges in keeping healthcare accessible and affordable for all.
  • We take a sustainable approach. In order to be and remain actually effective in the long-term in promoting health, we need to focus not only on improving health outcomes and controlling costs but also on the quality experience and sustainable care, lifelong learning, and sustainable deployability of care personnel. This means that we start from a proactive approach based more on prevention, answering to what people need, and which can be continued after a project is completed. Crucial in this is how to keep retention of care professionals high and learning to cooperate across professional disciplines.
  • We put the focus on a broad perspective on health. More than just the absence of disease, good health also comprises things like the degree of resilience and the capacity to surmount physical, emotional, and social challenges in order to participate in society. We move from disease management to health management. This means that our focus is not so much on the disease but on the person as a whole in their own environment.

Our goal

Overall, health problems are on the increase, in part as the result of unhealthy lifestyles and an unhealthy living environment, the knock-on effects of social problems such as debt, as well as the ageing of society and increasing medical and social vulnerability. In addition to these and other factors, the number of professionals available in the healthcare sector has been declining for years. Without changes in policy approaches, the changing and increasing demand for care, as well as increasing costs driven by new technology and medication, will continue to rise in the long term and be an ever-increasing burden on public spending. In addition, the differences in health outcomes are staggering, including in our country, and these will continue to worsen. These types of social challenges call for a broad-based approach, addressing them from different perspectives and academic disciplines, in order to improve health for all, reduce discrepancies, and keep the care system robust, inclusive, and affordable.

The care system as currently structured is primarily reactive, having been built on years of history in the pursuit of treating and fighting diseases. The result is that we pay when someone gets sick, rather than working from the premise of investing in the prevention of illness and disease. The changes in our society call for a new way of working: a system that revolves not around sickness and care but rather around promoting health and healthy behaviour, taking into account individual and contextual differences that impact health. This requires more cooperation between care professionals, welfare workers, and community health professionals, as well as more attention to the prevention or aggravation of illness at both the individual (indicated and care-related prevention) and population (universal and selective prevention) levels. Additionally, interventions (lifestyle, welfare, social security, healthcare) need to be better matched to the needs and health risks of individuals. The transformation that will be needed to shift from a reactive to a much more proactive healthcare system will require all professionals and organisations to embrace a learning attitude. This is characterised by the research, teaching, and training within Leiden University’s (LUMC) Health Campus The Hague.

Our method

Broadly speaking, the teaching and research at the Health Campus are based on an internationally known approach called ‘Population Health Management’. At the Health Campus, the Leiden University Medical Centre also offers a Master’s Degree under this title and has a number of postgraduate variants on the subject in development (read more (in Dutch)). Additionally, parts of the GP training program at LUMC in The Hague is delivered with a focus on Community Oriented, or Population Oriented, Primary Care (read more (in Dutch)). The interdisciplinary approach in these programmes is an element of Leiden University’s incentive area ‘Population (e)Health Living Lab’ (read more) and follows on from our mission and guiding principles, the need for prevention and proactive clinical policy, and the need to make the care provided a better fit for individuals’ needs.