What is KCE?
KCE is an independent research centre that provides scientific advice on topics related to health care. The topics are generally asked for by the public authorities (Minister / Ministry of Public Health, NIHDI), universities, professional associations, etc.
KCE produces three categories of scientific output: Reports : Studies on the organiszation and financing of health care in the largest sense (Health Services Research); assessments of health technologies and drugs (Health Technology Assessment); guidelines for clinical practice and their updates to keep them continuously in line with the latest scientific evidence (Good Clinical Practice); methodological manuals with validated work methods for all researchers in the field of healthcare and public health (Methods). Clinical trials:
The idea of the creation of a knowledge centre originated from 2002, in the cabinet of Frank Vandenbroucke, the then Minister of Social Affairs and Pensions. KCE was established in 2003 and published its first reports in 2004. Similar institutions have existed for many years in most industrialised countries such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) in France or the Zorginstituut Nederland in the Netherlands.
The KCE is a Type B parastatal body funded by the federal government. Its annual budget is about € 10 million, of which 75% comes from the NIHDI and 25% from the Ministry of Health and Social Security. An additional € 5 million is to be added for the KCE Trials programme, which is fully funded by NIHDI. Some specific European subsidies cover KCE's participation in international research networks and projects. You can view our balance sheets and income statements in our annual reports.
Our Board of Directors (hereinafter, the “Board”), consists of representatives of public bodies active in healthcare, patient associations and health insurance. The composition is balanced and it plays a key role in scrutinising our neutrality and safeguarding our independence.
The KCE management relies upon: Raf MERTENS, General Director Christian LEONARD, Deputy General Director Dominique PAULUS, Programme manager The management positions have the status of public agents. The Royal Decree of February 20th 2003 on the designation and the exercise of management functions within the KCE provides that all holders of such a position will have to submit a draft management plan and operational plan within six months following their designation. The management plan covers a period of six years, ie the duration of a mandate.
The healthcare domain is very complex. There is no scientific training that comprises all of its numerous aspects. That is why at KCE we have opted for a truly multi-disciplinary approach. No research is conducted by a single researcher; on the contrary, each research question is examined from a medical, economic, social, legal and/or ethical perspective, depending on the needs. This is highly appreciated, both by the end users of the study results and by the researchers themselves. Our 45 experts can be divided into several categories: