Within the UAntwerp

Our Research Team on ‘out-of-hours primary health care’ (OOHcare) had its genesis in 2003 with the foundation of the first General Practitioner Cooperative (GPC) (the former ‘Huisartsenwachtpost Deurne-Borgerhout’) in Belgium, Antwerp.

Our group was involved from the initial conception until the realization of this medical centre for OOH care. Developing from our great cooperation with the local care givers, the idea quickly followed to conduct profound research on the effects of a newly established service in an urban area as Antwerp. We asked the question: Is there a benefit for the patients or the physicians? What will be the effect on patient flows during OOH? Various research topics followed until the first scientific studies in Belgium on OOH Primary Care were published. The final product in this research area was the doctoral thesis of dr. Hilde Philips, ‘Out-of-Hours Primary Care in Belgium’ with Prof. dr. Roy Remmen as a supervisor and Prof. dr. Paul Van Royen as a co-supervisor. This marked the start of a new line of scientific research for our Centre for General Practice, CHA-ELIZA. Meanwhile our research team has expanded with several senior and junior researchers joining our current structure.


Originating as an initiative from the general practitioners in Antwerp, and the Centre for General Practice at the University of Antwerp, our research group collaborates progressively with other faculties within the University of Antwerp (Applied Economic Sciences / Business Engineering, Health Economics, Marketing, Medical Law, Sociology) and the University Hospital Antwerp (emergency medicine).

In the past, we also had ad hoc collaboration with general practitioner cooperatives, hospitals and pharmacist’s associations outside the Antwerp region (Bruges, Turnhout, Herentals, Leuven, Tienen). This network has strengthened gradually during the evolution of the iCAREdata project. Our research team has already conducted scientific research at the request of the Federal Government, the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI) and KCE.


In 2010, our research team was involved in founding EurOOHnet (European research network for Out-Of-Hours primary health care).

This European research network currently brings together 12 European countries to conduct research, and to improve 'out-of-hours' primary care. Since the beginning, one of our research group has been a board members of the EurOOHnet - Annelies Colliers is our delegate until May 2018. We attend the annual congresses, presenting 2 or 3 research topics. We have also been involved in three research projects coordinated by EurOOHnet.

In 2012, our group had the honour and pleasure of organising the annual meeting in Antwerp. Participation in the EurOOHnet offers the opportunity to network with other research groups in Europe and to be informed about recent changes and evolutions in OOH care in different countries.