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National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

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National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu
Coat of arms of the Netherlands
Agency overview
JurisdictionKingdom of the Netherlands
HeadquartersAntonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9, Bilthoven
52°07′07″N 5°11′21″E / 52.118524°N 5.189059°E / 52.118524; 5.189059
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Prof. J. (Hans) Brug, Director-general
Parent departmentMinistry of Health, Welfare and Sport
WebsiteRIVM website

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Dutch: Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu or simply RIVM) is a Dutch research institute that is an independent agency of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

RIVM performs tasks to promote public health and a safe living environment by conducting research and collecting knowledge worldwide. The results are used to support the Government of the Netherlands in formulating its policy. RIVM's primary tasks are:[1][2]

  • research
  • policy support
  • national coordination
  • intervention programmes
  • provision of reliable information to the public and to professionals working in health care about infectious diseases, the environment, nutrition and safety.

RIVM is located in Bilthoven, Utrecht and employs over 1,500 people, many of whom work in multidisciplinary fields.[citation needed]


RIVM was founded in 1910 when the Central Laboratory for Public Health was created.[3]

The present size of the institute is the result of a merger between three government institutes in 1984.[3]

RIVM has become a large, complex organisation with many different international links and a range of activities.[3]

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the RIVM was tasked with oversight of the disease and how the Dutch government would combat it. They RIVM instituted weekly counts of infected people within the nation's borders. The director of the Infectious Disease Control bureau, Jaap van Dissel, was charged with disease reduction efforts.[4]

By July 2021, the RIVM, which was a reference laboratory for the World Health Organization, recognized five types of COVID test technology:[5]

On 13 August 2021, government announced with RIVM approval that "From 30 August social distancing will no longer be required at secondary vocational schools (MBOs), higher professional education institutions (HBOs) and universities."[9]


RIVM building

The RIVM organisation consists of three domains with specific knowledge and expertise: Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology (Centre for Infectious Disease Control), Environment and Safety (including environmental incident service), Public Health and Health Services (including food and food safety).[10]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (www.narcis.nl)". Archived from the original on 9 July 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2007.
  2. ^ "About RIVM". Archived from the original on 21 February 2007.
  3. ^ a b c The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) (at Columbia University, New York, USA)
  4. ^ "Covid-19 hospital numbers down by 27% in last week: RIVM". DutchNews. 2 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Testing for COVID-19". Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu. 15 July 2021.
  6. ^ "The PCR test". Archived from the original on 9 May 2021.
  7. ^ "The antigen test". Archived from the original on 21 June 2021.
  8. ^ "The serological test". www.rivm.nl. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  9. ^ "No restrictions for on-site learning but other measures against COVID-19 extended". Government of the Netherlands. 13 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Organisation | RIVM". www.rivm.nl.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]