"We aim to build bridges between state-of-the art scientific evidence and a health care policy that favors high quality and efficiency in health care."
– Dr. Raf Mertens, Director, KCE
History and Structure
The Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE) is a semi-governmental institution, constituted by the law of 24 December 2002. The KCE is independent from the federal government. Most of its activities are commissioned by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs and the National Health and Invalidity Insurance. As from 2004, KCE is a member of INAHTA.
The KCE consists of a Board of Directors that approves or disapproves the validation of all reports before they are disclosed to the public. A scientific advisory committee supports the KCE in the realization of scientific excellence. The KCE has a permanent staff of about 65 people (75% researchers, 20% administrative staff members and 5% managers). The experts come from different disciplines, including medicine, economics, statistics, sociology, psychology and law. There is one general director, one vice-general director and two programme managers.
The mission of the KCE is to advice policy makers about the possibilities to obtain an efficient allocation of scarce health care resources that optimizes the quality and accessibility of health care.
The KCE has the following domains of research:
- Health technology assessment
- Good clinical practice
- Health services research
- Pragmatic practice-oriented clinical trials
The aims of the KCE can be summarized as follows:
- Production of analyses and studies in the different research domains in which decisions must be taken
- Collecting and disseminating objective information from registered data, literature and current practice
- Developing high level scientific expertise in the four research domains.
How KCE Works
Research topics are planned and prioritized in collaboration with the Board of KCE. Topic proposals can be submitted once a year by anyone from the Belgian population.
Research projects are performed by internal experts or in commissioned to an external partner, such as a university, an ad hoc research group consisting of researchers from different organisations, or another research organization. All projects are supervised by experts from the KCE.
The KCE can rely on an external knowledge network that guarantees fully independent recommendations based on the state-of-the art scientific evidence. For each project, external experts are involved in the study. They help to pinpoint the hot issues as well as to identify the most recent developments in the field. In the final stage of the report development, a number of external validators is asked to critically review the report. The validators can formulate their comments and request modification or can reject or approve the report. Conflicts of interest are disclosed by both the external experts and the external validators.
All reports from the KCE are published on our website. Scientific reports are in English, with a summary in Dutch, French, and most of the time also in English.
In addition, the KCE publishes press releases on its website in order to disseminate the message to the general public, and push the information on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Also, for some reports, a video interview is published on our YouTube channel.
Description of population served: National
Population served (mil): 11.27
Current HTA budget (mil USD): 11
Permanent staff: 55 FTE
Ongoing TA projects: 6/year average
Director: Dr. Raf Mertens
Contact person: Mr. Patrice Chalon
Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre
Centre administratif Botanique-Door Building (10th)
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium