Introduction Within the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, cross-border cooperation in the healthcare sector has taken place on different occasions and at different levels. However, it still proving to be difficult to have an overview of the existing structures and activities of Euregio in specific healthcare fields, such as for instance, dementia care. The aim of this study is to examine to what extent cooperation in the Dutch province of Limburg in the field of dementia care can be considered Euregionally oriented.
Methods In order to create more cross-border transparency within the Euregional dementia care field, we conducted a capacity assessment analysis. Capacity assessment is the first step in the further development of healthcare capacities by mapping current as well as desired capacities. Although we related the model as applied in this study explicitly to dementia care in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, the model could be applicable in other cross-border settings and/or healthcare fields as well.
Results Despite the apparently well-functioning system of regional dementia care networks in the Dutch province of Limburg, none of the respondents declared to have structural contacts with similar organizations in the other (German and Belgian) parts of the Euregio. Moreover, many of our respondents argued that cross-border cooperation in the field of dementia care could be interesting in various ways, but at the same time there is currently no direct necessity to actively pursue such cooperation.
Conclusion Despite the absence of structural cross-border cooperation initiatives in the field of dementia care in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, some suggestions can be made for the formulation of a potential capacity development response on the basis of the results of the capacity assessment as conducted in this study (showing gaps between current and desired capacities). Even if it is subsequently decided not to formulate a concrete capacity development response (for example due to the lack of a mutual objective need amongst organizations to engage in cross-border cooperation), a capacity assessment offers at the least a reflection on an organization's own performance as well as providing transparency between organizations. The main opportunities for the formulation of a capacity development response on a Euregional level in the field of dementia care are related to knowledge development and the creation of partnerships.
- capacity assessment
- cross-border cooperation
- dementia care