The Netherlands

Nederlandse Vereniging voor Klinische Geriatrie
Dutch Geriatrics Society

Some facts on demography and geriatrics in the Netherlands…

Total population: 17 million
Percentage above 65 Yr: 17.7%
Percentage above 80 Yr: 4.3%

Number of physicians: 5.900
Number of geriatricians: 248
Total number of hospital beds: 44.000
Number of geriatric beds: unknown

Geriatrics is recognised as a...

  • speciality since >20 years (1983)

Members of the society

Total number of Members: 429
Geriatricians: 245
Residents: 149
GP’s:  0
Internists: 22
Nurses: 0
Other therapists: 0
Members of honour: 7
Retired members: 5

Overall goals of the society

The goals of the society are to promote the interests of elderly in need of medical care, promoting education, training and standards in geriatric medicine for every health care professional, to fight ageism in the health care system and to establish geriatric medicine in every hospital.
At the moment most hospitals (>90%) in the Netherlands have a department of geriatric medicine, although in some cases only as an outpatient clinic (including day-clinics) and geriatric consultation.

Special interest groups within society

Special interest groups are formed on geriatric oncology, geriatric traumatology, falls and fractures, gerontopharmacology, nutrition, palliative care, and geriatric psychiatry.

To contact a special interest group, please send an email.

Other activities…

National Scientific Meetings:

In February is the two days annual scientific meeting “Geriatriedagen”. This meeting is organized in collaboration with the Dutch Gerontological Society, the Society of Nurses in Geriatric Medicine, and the Society of Physiotherapists in Geriatric Medicine.

Other Educational Activities:

Teaching days are organized for the residents in training.

List of geriatric chairs and research centres in the country

There are 8 university hospitals, only one has a full professor in Geriatric Medicine. There is a “special” chair Geriatrics placed within the section family medicine and nursing home medicine in one university hospital, and 3 other university hospitals have chairs in Internal Medicine with special attention for the elderly.

University Hospital

Research Themes

Erasmus MC

  • Cardiovascular aging
Determinants of functional decline

UMC Utrecht

  • The older patient with cardiovascular problems
  • Optimizing pharmacotherapy in the elderly
  • innovation of healthcare


  • Acute care for elderly

  • Renal replacement therapy in elderly

  • Cardiovascular aging/ human aging

  • Oncology in elderly, in particular breast cancer
Substitution of 2nd- to 1st-line care

Chair: Prof. dr. Gerard Jan (G. J.) Blauw

Radboud UMC

  • Radboud UMC Alzheimer Center & Alzheimer research theme
  • Geriatrics & Health Improvement Science

Chair: Prof. dr. Marcel (M.G.M.) Olde Rikkert

UMC Groningen

I: Healthy aging from the perspective of the older hospital patient

  1. acute care: cognitive and physical functioning in the older patient with acute care needs
  2. oncology: cognitive and physical functioning in older patients with cancer
  3. transplantation: cognitive and physical functioning in older patients with renal disease

II: Healthy aging from the perspective of senior citizens

  1. self-assessment and self-management of healthy aging in older persons
  2. Animostudiy: healthy aging with increased risk of dementia
  3. M-Coach: healthy aging with chronic illness

Chair: Prof. dr. Sophia (S.E.J.A.) de Rooij

Maastricht UMC+

  • Risk stratification with respect to complications, health care costs, etc.,
  • CAPHRI-research: public health and primary care.
  • Alzheimer Centre  Limburg


Personalized Medicine in Geriatrics:

  • Innovation of care
  • Prevention of falls and fractures
  • Pharmacology/polyfarmacia


1. VU – department of internal medicine

  • Sarcopenia
  • Balance impairments
  • Gait and mental function
  • Physical behavior during hospital stay
  • Delirium
  • Geriatric oncology/hematology
  • Biological geriatric assessment

Chair: Prof. dr. dr. Andrea (A.) Maier (leaved 1/1/2016 to Australia)

2. VU - Institute for Health and Care Research (EMGO+)

  • Geriatric Pharmacotherapy

Chair: Prof. dr. Rob (R.J.) van Marum

Achievements of geriatric medicine in the Netherlands...

  • Continuous efforts of the Board of our Society have put elderly care on the political agenda.
  • The number of training positions (which is decided by the government) has been increased from 18 to 31 yearly.
  • The hospital based Safety Management Program includes screening for geriatric giants in every patient above the age of 70 year who is admitted to a hospital.
  • In November 2007 the Undersecretary for Health Care earmarked 30 million Euros for the National Program for the Care of the Elderly. This program aimed to further develop regional programs for the health care for the elderly that cost effectively organize this care for the specific needs of each individual, to coordinate what the different providers in the health care system can offer to the elderly in a coherent way, and to boost research into prevention and improving diagnostic tools for health problems in the elderly.
  • In 2015, a research agenda has been drafted with the Top 10 research questions to be answered in the next 5 years

Contact details

The president of the Society:
Arend Arends

General Assembly member in the EuGMS:
Francesco Mattace-Raso

Email: info(at)


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