“We aim to support decision makers in healthcare by means of patient-centred evidence-based research and want to collaborate internationally to ensure the development and application of the highest quality scientific standards.”
– Dr. Marijke Eyssen, General 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 an Executive Board that approves or disapproves all reports before they are disclosed to the public. The KCE has a permanent staff of about 71 people (70% researchers, 25% 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 scientific programme directors.
KCE’s mission is to advise policymakers on decisions relating to health care and health insurance on the basis of scientific and objective research. It is expected to identify and shed light on the best possible solutions, in the context of an accessible, high-quality health care system with due regard for growing demand and budgetary constraints. The KCE has the following domains of research:
- Health technology assessment
- Clinical practice guidelines
- Health services research
- Methodological research
Besides these domains of research, KCE is also responsible for the development of specific programmes:
- KCE Trials: a programme for pragmatic practice-oriented clinical trials coordinated and financed by KCE
- The Right to be forgotten: research programme to support decisions on the right to be forgotten in the context of outstanding balance insurance
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 commissioned to an external partner, such as a university, an ad hoc consortium of researchers from different organisations, or another research organization. All projects are supervised closely by experts from the KCE.
For each project, external experts are involved in the study, e.g. scientists, health care professionals. Patient involvement is also systematically considered. Where appropriate and feasible for the patients/healthcare users or their representatives, patients/healthcare users are involved in KCE projects. Patients and other external experts help to pinpoint the hot issues, relevant research questions, outcomes to consider as well as recent developments in the field. In the final stage of the report development, three independent external validators are asked to critically review the report and judge its scientific quality and rigour. 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): 11.52
Current HTA budget (mil USD): 11.5
Permanent staff: 63.1 FTE
Ongoing TA projects: 5/year average
Director: Dr. Marijke Eyssen
Contact person: Mr. Patrice Chalon, Dr. Irina Cleemput
Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre
Centre administratif Botanique-Door Building (10th)
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium