GGD GHOR Nederland is the Association of GGD’s (Community Health Services) and GHOR-(Regional Medical Emergency Preparedness and Planning)offices in the Netherlands. Our task is to look after the interests of the 25 GGD's and GHOR-offices, to plea for public health and safety and to improve the quality within the public health.
GGD's and GHOR-offices contribute to guarding, improving and protecting the health of the Dutch people. GGD GHOR Nederland supports those activities by:
- Representing the 25 local GGD's and GHOR-offices and their interests at local government, political and national social organisations;
- Offering a platform for the GGD's and GHOR-offices to meet and fine-tune ideas;
- Acquiring and executing projects that offer support to the way GGD's and GHOR-offices operate or contribute to the implementation of new policy areas.
The name GGD
The name GGD, community health service, is for many a familiar name. Some may think of the school doctor, or vaccinations for holidays in far-away countries. Others may think of an anonymous HIV test, or the ambulance service. Moreover, there are GGD's that closely co-operate with other regional institutions, such as the fire department. Together they present themselves as 'emergency assistance services'. The Netherlands has 25 local community health services scattered all over the country. The community health services will help all 17 million citizens in the Netherlands, in all provinces, districts, cities, communities and streets. They aim at preventing health risks and advancing the health of all citizens. That includes your health!
What a community health service does?
Everybody has heard of the GGD - the community health service. But what service does it provide? Local community health services are responsible for preventive health care. They keep an eye on health risks to all people residing in the Netherlands and try to improve people's health. This means that the community health services focus their attention on preventing people from becoming ill and having to see a general practitioner or go to a hospital.
The (basic) tasks of the community health services
All Dutch municipalities have the task to protect, control and promote the health of their inhabitants. To carry out these tasks, the municipalities have a community health service. There are a little less than 400 municipalities in the Netherlands which are responsible for 25 community health services. This means that one community health service is often directed by several municipalities jointly. The tasks of the community health services are not always identical since every municipality gives its own assignments to the GGD, specified in the municipal memoranda about local policy on community health.
Nevertheless, all Dutch community health services have a number of uniform tasks. These tasks are specified in the law: the Public Health Act (Wcpv). Every GGD is required to carry out at least the tasks described in this act.
In brief, the tasks of the community health services are:
- Child health care
- Environmental health
- Socio-medical advice
- Periodic sanitary inspections
- Public health for asylum seekers
- Medical screening
- Health education
- Community mental health