Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (Netherlands)

Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (Netherlands)

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The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (Dutch: Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport; VWS) is the public health authority of the Netherlands. The current minister is Edith Schippers. She is aided by State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport (Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten-Hyllner).



The ministry is responsible for three policy areas:

  • Public health and health care
  • Welfare and social-cultural work
  • Sports


The ministry is currently headed by two ministers and one state secretary. The ministry's main office is located in the centre of the Hague. The civil service is headed by a secretary general and a deputy secretary general, who head a system of three directorates general:

  • Public Health, responsible for safety, prevention and sports
  • Health Care, responsible for care, medicine and health insurances
  • Youth and Welfare

The ministry is also responsible for several autonomous agencies, most prominently:


There had been a ministry of Social Work since 1952. In 1965 it was also given responsibility for Culture and Recreation and it was named Ministry of Culture, Recreation and Social Work. Between 1951 and 1973 there had been a Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Care. In 1973 a separate Ministry of Health and the Environment was formed. In 1982 these two ministries merged to form the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports.[1] Responsibilities concerning the environment and nature management were given to the newly reorganized Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries. The ministry built a new headquarters in 2003 designed by architect Michael Graves. In 1996 the responsibility for culture was transferred to the newly reorganized Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.


The following politicians have been minister of Health since 1982:


  1. ^ Neelen et al. De Bestuurlijke Kaart van Nederland, p.71

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