RIVM monitors public health in the Netherlands and the factors that have impact on health. In support of public health, studies and investigations are carried out on the safety of medical products and pharmaceuticals, and on food and nutrition. We also monitor life style factors in the Netherlands because physical activity, diet and smoking behaviour all have an impact on public health. Studies are undertaken, for instance, on salt intake and on the health risks of being overweight.

Our work is recognised internationally, as reflected in our designation as WHO Collaborating Centre on matters such as Nutrition, Tobacco Product Regulation, and Immuno-toxicology. We participate in a wide range of EU European Union (European Union)-funded projects, for instance on evidence-based prevention. These activities link closely with our role in quality assessment of health-promoting lifestyle interventions and programmes. This information supports local authorities and health professionals in determining the most appropriate actions and interventions to meet the needs of the populations they serve. 

RIVM also monitors the effectiveness of the health care system and its contribution to a healthy and productive population. Our findings are used in advice to local authorities, ministries and international organisations, and to health professionals and through them to the general public.

Much of our knowledge is readily accessible on websites. Our expertise in web-based health reporting and knowledge brokering is built on longstanding international collaboration. RIVM has been a key player in developing European core health indicators and works closely with WHO Europe on developing a sustainable European Health Information System. Further priorities in international collaboration include integrated health policies, health ageing and health systems. 

Four specialised centres

Centre for Health and Society
Centre for Health Protection
Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health Services
Centre for Population Screening

Director: Marit Volp MD.