The KCE (Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre) is an independent federal research centre that provides recommendations to competent authorities and various health care stakeholders based on scientific analysis. These analyses focus on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health interventions, and the organisation, financing and reimbursement of health care. KCE also develops clinical practice guidelines for healthcare providers. Topics are usually proposed by public authorities, universities, professional associations but any citizen, patient or patient organisation can also submit a research proposal. The KCE is not involved in the political choices based on the reports it publishes. However, it may be required to intervene in implementation phases when its technical skills are an essential added value. KCE is a type B parastatal organisation. This status guarantees total independence from the subsidiary powers, who essentially are the federal authorities (NIHDI for 75% and FPS Health and Social Security, together for 25%). In addition, some specific European subsidies cover KCE’s involvement in international research networks and projects.
The KCE mission encompasses five areas of expertise:
- Organisation and financing of health care in the broadest sense – Health Services Research
- Evaluation of medical technologies – Health Technology Assessment
- The production of clinical practice guidelines and their constant adaptation to new scientific developments – Good Clinical Practice
- Setting up and coordination of the Belgian non-commercial clinical research programme – KCE Trials programme
- Creation of accurate methodological manuals to establish validated working methods for all health care and public health researchers – Methods
In 2018, KCE published 13 reports.