Building BRIDGES: Cross border resource pooling and strengthening healthcare

Discover how public health extends beyond borders, as exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite facing the challenge of providing high-quality care with limited resources, hospitals near the border are leveraging resource pooling to meet the demands effectively. Resource pooling involves a variety of tools and strategies for coordinating and sharing resources within and between organizations, minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency. Through this approach, hospitals along the German-Netherlands border can rapidly access necessary resources during emergencies, ensuring shorter distances and quicker access to specialized care for patients, leading to healthier communities.

BRIDGE identifies opportunities for coordinated cross-border resource pooling, developing and implementing a digital platform to streamline this process and provide valuable input for policy decisions. Join us in revolutionizing healthcare delivery across borders, creating resilient and sustainable healthcare systems for all.

Overcome existing challenges in cross-border resource pooling

The main objective of BRIDGE is to overcome existing challenges in cross-border resource pooling (lack of coordination, bureaucracy, and cultural differences). Therefore, BRIDGE will develop innovative and smart tools and processes to improve hospital performance on cross-border issues by pooling resources while generating robust knowledge on how cross-border collaboration can be enhanced. 

Resource pooling also aims to reduce the divisive effect of the border. BRIDGE enables patients and hospitals to ensure that nationality or place of residence do not pose barriers to quality healthcare in the border region. When patients are bound to national healthcare providers, they sometimes have to travel long distances for specific treatments instead of utilizing a nearby hospital on the other side of the border (e.g., corneal transplantation, 3D-guided tumor surgery on the skeleton, proton therapy).

a more integrated region

Additionally, the results contribute significantly to creating a more integrated region at two levels: at the outcome level, BRIDGE develops and implements a toolkit that enables hospitals to collaborate and pool resources, intensifying cross-border cooperation. At the consortium level, BRIDGE brings together many important regional actors collaborating to develop solutions (e.g., joint development of guidelines for resource pooling), creating a solid network that does not yet exist, particularly hospitals.

So far, cross-border resource pooling in the medical sector has only occurred in exceptional circumstances, such as the cross-border exchange and coordination of patients, ICU beds, and materials like masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. BRIDGE aims to enable the exchange of resources in daily hospital work. In this way, healthcare systems are enabled to evolve together, leverage significant complementarity, focus on areas of specialization, address local community needs (e.g., care for elderly patients in regions with higher demand), and stimulate joint innovation. This will enhance the resilience of regional healthcare and improve the quality of life across borders as patients gain access to care facilities close to them.


Project BRIDGE is carried out within the framework of the InterregVI program Germany-Netherlands and is co-financed with EUR 1,497,345.91 by the European Union, MWIKE NRW, as well as the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland.


This project consists of a consortium of various partners. For a comprehensive overview including associate partners, click here.