Innovative healthcare facilities, ample opportunities for education and research and a draw for prospective business investment and jobs – that is what Almere’s health care sector is all about.
The city’s innovative approach to healthcare has captured the imagination of people throughout the country since the 1980s. For instance, all residential areas in Almere have healthcare centers that provide comprehensive primary healthcare (family physicians, dental care, physical therapy, prenatal care) under one roof. Healthcare professionals not only collaborate with their fellow practitioners, but also with professionals from other sectors such as wellness, housing, education and research.
Almere Health City
‘Almere Health City' was set up in 2008 to maintain the city’s innovative character. It is a partnership between the municipality of Almere, the province of Flevoland and a group of businesses (including leading biotechnology company Genzyme), educational institutions (including the academic medical centres of Amsterdam and Utrecht), research institutes and healthcare providers.
The project is set to bolster employment opportunities, the level of provisions and teaching within the healthcare sector. Almere Health City’s program is shaped around four main themes that shape its activities:
- Medical trade
Almere’s creative and innovative approach to healthcare draws medical technological businesses to the city. Almere encourages these businesses and organizations to set up their activities in each other’s vicinity and to work (closely) together. This is called clustering. It creates inspiring locations where scientists and entrepreneurs can meet.
- Health Campus
Almere aims to give its residents maximum support in making healthy choices. High-quality training for staff and research into new healthcare methods play a key role. In 2008 Health School Almere opened its doors. It conducts research into the quality and organization of local healthcare. As of January 1, 2011, Health School Almere is part of university of applied sciences, Windesheim Flevoland. The Alan Turing Institute Almere and the Jan van Es Institute also play an important role as regards to research into integrated and district-oriented healthcare. In the future, other innovative institutions could also make a contribution. Furthermore, work is being done on a high-tech simulation centre in the local hospital ‘Flevoziekenhuis’. An environment in which medical professionals work in teams to simulate real-life situations using high-tech equipment. The professionals can undergo training in the skills lab prior to the simulation. The skills lab could turn into an important practice environment for national and even international medical professionals.
- Healthcare provisions
As the city grows, there is to be an adequate supply of healthcare provisions accessible to all residents. The municipality of Almere involves healthcare organizations in the development of new residential areas.
One of the initiatives that resulted from the collaboration with healthcare organizations is the ‘Verzilvering’ program. The city uses its extensive high-speed fiber network to increase engagement within aging communities. Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group helped establish the program, as part of its Ageing Well initiative. From the outset, the main objective of the program was to identify innovative ways to help older citizens overcome the constraints of location and mobility. Doing so would enable more social and economic activity, strengthen communities, and make Almere a more attractive place to live, work and invest in.
- Wellness and beauty
Wellness and beauty treatments help improve people’s personal wellbeing. An icreasing number of people are embracing a healthy lifestyle. Wellness and beauty treatments can help prevent health problems. This makes them a useful addition to standard healthcare provisions. Almere helps wellness related organizations find a suitable location to set up their activities.