Last week, high in the Austrian mountains the health policy community gathered for the annual Gastein European Public Health Forum (EHFG). With a dramatic mark left on health and healthcare systems by the crisis, and economics (and fiscal governance) part of today’s reality, the focus was on how Europe can build resilient and innovative healthcare systems.
Recognising that health is a value in itself and a key driver of economic growth and prosperity, ensuring health systems contribute to citizens living longer, healthier and more productive lives, is an imperative. With this in mind, the consensus was clear: investing in health, innovating (in many ways), and making health systems more efficient, effective and sustainable, is pivotal. From an EU policy perspective a plethora of initiatives are already under development, with key ones on the table for discussion this autumn.
But what more can and must be done ? Undoubtedly, it’s a challenging and complex equation to solve, involving many areas and actors. There’s lessons to be learned, choices to be made both at a policy and practical implementation level. Grasping the opportunity to change will take resilience and innovation in policy making too. At the end of the day its about people and they matter as individuals, to the economy and society.