National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

Mariken Leurs
Nicoline Tamsma
Manager Healthy Living Centre
Senior Adviser International Affairs
+31 (0)30 27 49 111
+31 (0)30 27 42 971

PO Box 1
3720 BA Bilthoven



The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) is a national knowledge and research institute dedicated to promoting public health and a healthy and safe living environment. Its core tasks are:

  • policy support
  • national coordination
  • prevention and intervention programmes
  • provision of information to professionals and the general public
  • knowledge development and research
  • support for inspectorates

RIVM is a government agency. The institute provides the scientific knowledge base for national policies in the area of public health and health promotion, food, safety, and the environment. We share our knowledge with governments, research centres and intergovernmental bodies around the world, and have a solid international reputation as a leading centre of expertise.

RIVM employs approximately 1500 people.

Through the Centre for Healthy Living, RIVM is responsible for co-ordinating the efforts of specialised non-governmental R&D institutes in the field of health promotion, gathering and reviewing evidence on effectiveness of health promotion interventions, and facilitating nationwide dissemination of effective interventions.

RIVM’s Public Health and Health Services Division –the organisational base for the Centre for Healthy Living- carries out additional responsibilities, for instance as regards cost-effectiveness of health promotion; monitoring and tackling health inequalities; chronic disease prevention; coordinating population screening programmes; supporting health in all policies; and health impact assessment.

Over the last few years, the institute has been given a more prominent responsibility in co-ordinating and supporting public health efforts of others. Within the Public Health and Health Services Division this is evident in the remit of the Centre of Healthy Living, but also in the work of the Centre for Population Screening. Increasingly, local governments also approach the institute, for instance for advice on multisectoral policy development and local health monitoring and reporting.

Health in Country

RIVM hosts various websites that may help to provide insight in the health of the population and the performance of the Dutch health system. While most of the information provided is in Dutch, some key reports and sub-sites are also available in English:

More specific information about health promotion and the landscape of health promoting agencies in The Netherlands can be obtained here.

The most recent (2010) Health in Transition profile of the Dutch health system published by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies can be obtained here.

Projects & Programmes

More specific information in English about health promotion and the landscape of health promoting agencies in The Netherlands can be obtained at, the Dutch portal for health promotion and prevention developed by the Centre for Healthy Living (Centrum Gezond Leven).

This website also functions as a gateway to more detailed information about the mission and activities of the Centre for Healthy Living.

At international level, RIVM’s Public Health and Health Services Division participates in a broad range of activities and projects. These include:

  • EU Joint Action on Health Inequalities

  • EU Joint Action for European Community Health Indicators and Monitoring (ECHIM)

  • EU Joint Action on European Health Examination Survey (EHES) Pilot

  • EU Joint Action on a European Health and Life Expectancy Information System (EHLEIS)

  • European Health Literacy Survey

  • Crossing Bridges: developing methodologies and building capacity to advance the implementation of HiAP and achieve health equity

  • Working for Equity in Health:  PROGRESS

  • EuroHOPE – European Health Care Outcomes, Performance and Efficiency

  • QUALICOPC—Quality and costs of primary care in Europe

  • European Morbidity Statistics Pilot

  • Schools for Health in Europe Network

The Division is home to a WHO Collaborating Centre on Nutrition and a WHO Collaborating Centre for the Family of International Classifications (FIC).

At European level, international memberships include:

  • EuroHealthNet

  • European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

  • European Health Management Association (EHMA)

The Institute is also a member of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).

News & Publications

Useful Links



EuroHealthNet illustrates the strong links which exist between health, poverty and social exclusion
European Quality of Life Survey 2012
See video