Integrated Care Policies and Politics in Belgium: Conceptual, Contextual and Governance Linkages for More Effective Integrated Care Policy Management; Comment on “Integration or Fragmentation of Health Care? Examining Policies and Politics in a Belgian Case Study”

Document Type : Commentary


Institute of Health and Society (IRSS), UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium


The study on the management of integrated care (IC) policies in Belgium from Martens et al illustrates the complex process of the political and stakeholder game in a country whose governance is changing as a result of successive state reforms. We argue that the way forward for putting health back at the centre of IC policy design and management is to improve three types of connections. First, the conceptual connections should help to articulate the different IC policies into a coherent overall picture. Second, contextual connections should allow for the adaptation of policies to different country contexts. This requires a new form of governance, ie, a place-based and adaptive form of governance. This can be developed, provided that a third connection, between the different levels of governance, is fully revised.


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