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Healthy Municipality Manual

The Healthy Municipality Manual provides information, tips and practical examples for making, implementing and evaluating health policy at municipality and district level.

The handbook is a component of Loketgezondleven.nl and is for professionals active in improving health. For instance, professionals working for the community health services, policy makers in the municipalities, and professionals in regional sports organisations/sport services and Regional Support Structures first line health care (ROS). The manual presents options for an integrated approach to eight health themes (overweight, sport and exercise, alcohol, drugs, smoking, depression, sexual health and injuries) and receives on average 7,000 enquiries per month.

Cyclists in the city 

Healthy neighbourhoods

In 2014, information on a healthy neighbourhood was incorporated into the Healthy Municipality Manual in order to strengthen the link between new developments and current practice. A neighbourhood or district is a component of a Municipality. Modifications in health care as of 1 January 2015 make “Health close by” and “citizen empowerment” the central themes. Closely linked to this is a neighbourhood-focused approach to health care and is an important part of developing a healthy municipality. Information in the handbook is thus supplemented with specific topics, such as the neighbourhood health profile and the intervention overview of the Healthy Neighbourhood, and citizen participation and cooperation.

Awareness and use

In 2014, a study on awareness and use of the handbook indicated that it is well known to the target groups and most users applied the information in their work. Awareness was greatest among professionals in the Area Health Authorities. In the municipalities, two-thirds of respondents said they were aware of the handbook and almost 90% used it in preparing public health policy documents.

Information on sport and exercise was the most consulted, followed by information on overweight and on the development of integrated health policy. The manual was used not only in preparing health policy documents and advising municipalities but also in policy implementation.

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