UZ Brussel and the university
From the launch of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels), the need was identified for a proprietary hospital. Its foundations have remained relevant to this day as they relate to the university’s mission, notably research, education and service. A university hospital not only provides a platform for the education of students in the medical professions (doctors, biomedical scientists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social assistants, nurses etc), or the development of new medical techniques or innovative treatments, but also for the best possible, accessible medicine governed by the right of self-determination. In view of its location in the Brussels region, Vrije University Brussels has also taken it upon itself to provide an answer to the failed language policy in Brussels’ public hospitals. Following an intense expansion phase lasting about 20 years, there followed a consolidation phase which focused on strengthening the hospital internally and externally. Working from this mission, the hospital of Free University Brussels has matured into a fully-fledged partner amidst the (university) hospital landscape of Flanders and Brussels.
Know-how converted into medical applications and development
The change of name to UZ Brussel reflects the institution’s university strategy. UZ Brussel remains a general hospital which provides the best possible care across all disciplines based on its public commitment to society. It therefore remains a suitable meeting place for students and a study location for ‘evidence-based medicine’. At the same time, the mutual cooperation with university research groups across various disciplines has been strengthened. As such, the university’s scientific know-how can be converted into medical applications and development. The clustering of resources and knowledge leads to the creation of spearhead centres. These are not only medical centres (Diabetes, Reproductive Medicine, Cardiology, Oncology etc.) but also technological (Electronic Patient Files, Imaging, Radiotherapy, Stem Cell Therapy etc.), economic (Pharmacoeconomics, Hospital Economics etc.) and Ethical Centres (e.g. ‘end and start of life care’, admission of multicultural patients etc.).
This leads to innovative cooperation with industry and the development of spin-off activities. The intended pursuit of excellence also entails cooperation with other university hospitals with a view to optimising patients’ care.
The cross-fertilisation which exists within the Jette Medical Campus between the University Hospital, the Medicine and Pharmacy Faculty and the Department for Health Sciences at the Erasmus Academy, leads to a strengthened common strategy.