European Health Forum Gastein – Conference Report 2017

© framez. / EHFG

To kickstart the new year and remind us of what to focus on, we are happy to share the EHFG 2017 Conference Report with you. The event covered various aspects of how to make Health in All Policies a political reality. Below you can find an excerpt of one of our sessions on local politics and health, written by the Young Gasteiners Arjan van der Star and Iva Šimková:

(…) Local politics and policy-making play crucial roles in both implementing policies that create healthier environments for all and adopting wider policy frameworks that are set at an aggregated level. Particularly in times of populism and alternative truths, it is of utmost importance to bridge gaps – not only across different groups in society, but also across different policy areas to ensure comprehensive policies which follow shared goals for better health. Effective and efficient integrated policies should encompass values of equity and solidarity, and need to find their way into local policy implementation. Although the concept of Health in All Policies (which can be seen as a framework for coherent policy-making) is increasingly (in theory at least) considered by governments, different challenges remain for the various levels of policy-making. At a local level, the political aspect for such local policy implementation becomes increasingly important – especially for health promotion. In the 2016 Healthy Cities Consensus, a local approach was advocated as crucial through the statement: “Health is created at local level, in the settings of everyday life”. City governments become responsible for constantly expanding populations as urbanisation continues at a steady pace.

© framez. / EHFG

Implementing Health in All Policies and Politics at the local level is not always an easy task. The panellists identified preconditions for running a city that is perceived to be “healthy”. Three main points were stressed: good measurement, transparency and communication to move from short-term to long-term goals and achievements. It is necessary to communicate with other policymakers and learn from their successes and mistakes, but simultaneously it is vital to properly communicate with citizens to make health-oriented political decisions more understandable and appreciated.”

© framez. / EHFG


For full outcomes and reports on other sessions and topics, please have a look at our website:

Save the date for EHFG 2018, 3 – 5 October, Bad Hofgastein – the main theme will be announced soon!



Published in GI-Mail 01/2018 (English edition). Sign up for GI-Mail here.  

Tip: More up to date educational events can be found online in the Education Database »medicine & health«.

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