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In the framework of a multi country study-visit to the Netherlands and Belgium on the 24th and 25th of September, organized by the European Forum for Primary Care, a delegation from the Shanghai Health Development Research Center visited Ghent, Utrecht and Den Bosch for an introduction in the Belgian and Dutch Health Care system and to focus on the provision of primary care and the interface with homecare.
In Utrecht the NIVEL researchers Willemijn Schäfer, Nadine Genet en Wienke Boerma provided the needed information for the Netherlands. With the guidance of the EFPC coordinator Diederik Aarendonk they visited in the afternoon a Primary Health Care center in Den Bosch. The day before the delegation visited Ghent with the guidance of the EFPC president, prof. Jan De Maeseneer, to receive similar information on the Belgium Health Care system and Primary Care developments. Crucial aspects in both visits were the collaboration between different professionals at community level and even in more detail, who should be responsible for the coordination of care. Besides, aspects regarding payment schemes were highlighted and the Chinese visitors returned home with some clear warning messages to avoid too much fragmentation in this respect. Take home messages which can be used to develop further their approximately 200 Primary Care centers. A short visit, which emphasized the fact that these kind of exchanges are not only useful to provide information, but due to very critical questions of the visitors, also very interesting for the Dutch institutes and services involved.