Affordable healthcare for all is a central objective of the World Health Organization (WHO), and should be targeted by its Member States as well. But is this achievable in times of crisis?
The possibility of using health promotion to achieve significant improvements in the health of populations at limited expense has been repeatedly discussed and advocated over decades. Healthy Europe asked European experts if this huge potential is now being exploited. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion at the WHO; Caroline Costongs, Director of EuroHealthNet; Jan De Maeseneer, Chair of the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health of the European Commission; and Martin Dietrich, Acting Director of the Federal Centre for Health Education (BzGA) in Germany, took part in the survey.
Europe initially failed to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously enough. But then the EU demonstrated its strengths, most notably by taking swift action to counter the economic recession.
Healthy Europe asked seven international health experts what they expect from the future after the pandemic is over: Austria’s Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein; Pierre Delsaux, Deputy Director-General of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission; Marc Pearson and Francesca Columbo from the OECD; Mojca Gabrijelčič Blenkuš, President of EuroHealthNet; Lars Münter, Communications Lead of the Nordic Health 2030 Movement; and Amanda Janoo, Knowledge and Policy Lead of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance.
Global health expert Ilona Kickbusch speaks in an interview about how different countries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of the European Union, and why we need a worldwide agreement in order to be better prepared in the future.
Birgit Beger, Chief Executive Officer of the European Heart Network, explains in an interview why Europe needs a joint plan to combat cardiovascular disease and what preventative measures should be taken.
Slovenia’s health minister Janez Poklukar in an interview on what worked well in the response by the European Union and the Member States to the COVID-19 pandemic, and why better coordination will be necessary in future.
Herwig Ostermann, Executive Director of Gesundheit Österreich GmbH, talks about scientific evidence as a basis for wide-reaching political decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic and the PHIRI project for improved knowledge transfer in Europe.
Now is the time to strengthen the role of the EU in health policy and to build a European Health Union. This will require appropriate amendments to the EU treaties, writes former European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis in his guest contribution.
Portugal’s Minister of Health, Marta Temido; Austria’s Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, Rudolf Anschober, and Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe explain what “Dancing with elephants”, the main theme of the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) 2020, means to them.