No creativity without confrontation – EHFG 2017 Outcomes

8. November 2017 at 14:08

© Floris Oudshoorn – ComicHouse

The 20th edition of the European Health Forum Gastein centred around the theme of Health in All Politics – a better future for Europe.

One of its key insights was coined by newly elected EHFG President Dr Clemens Martin Auer: There is no creativity without confrontation. Now more than ever, Gastein must remain an open forum for all health stakeholders to engage critically but constructively in key issues, from working out the specifics of IP rights for medical innovation to joint efforts to foster trust in public institutions on all levels, within and beyond the European health sector.

An important takeaway from the conference was the widely perceived urgency to unite against any attempts to close down health policy at EU level. Health is indisputably a core business of the EU and entrenched in the Treaties of the European Union. With 70% of Europeans favouring a greater role for the EU on health as a prerequisite to unlock the full potential of EU economic and social policies, its role and ambition should be BIG, not small.

Furthermore, the EHFG 2017 reiterated that facts are not enough to counteract negative health developments precipitated by post-truth rhetoric. Strong moral leadership and identification of common values are needed to give the facts a fighting chance. Tragedies such as the recent avoidable measles deaths in the EU are a stark reminder not to forget the lessons history taught us – sessions covering a multitude of issues from vaccine scepticism to digital health illustrated how fake news and misinformation may prevent the soundest health system from realising its potential. “It is not possible to create trust from nothing, but we can build a mountain of trust if governments are open, transparent and make use of resources for the good of citizens”, stated Ain Aaviksoo, Secretary General for E-services and Innovation at the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs.

Workshop at the EHFG 2017. © framez.

During the EHFG 2017, we have invited our participants and speakers to discuss how we can move forward in several concrete areas: Health in All Policies, Health systems, Access to medicines and Innovation, Big Data & ICT.

We are pleased to share with you the first results here.

The full conference movie as well as webcasts of individual sessions are also available online.


Published in GI-Mail 11/2017 (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«.