The Gastein Health outcomes 2014

Report from European Health Forum Gastein, 1st to 3rd October 2014, Bad Hofgastein, Austria


The EHFG 2014 deliberately grasped the opportunity offered by the changing political context – with a new European Parliament, a new European Commission a new urgency in the WHO European Region, at a time of international discussions on new global health goals.
A combination of thought leaders and practitioners analysed how it might be possible to forge the health policy that citizens deserve in this new political space. Newly-elected MEPs, WHO and EU officials, and the European Commissioner-designate for health not only came, and spoke, but stayed to listen, and to engage in discussions of “the Europe we want”.
The priority tasks that the President of the European Commission has assigned to the new Health Commissioner include rapid responses to crises associated with food safety and pandemics, and a prompt evaluation of the decision-making process for genetically modified organisms – signalling to citizens a readiness to tackle issues that affect them directly and provoke their anxiety. A further priority is to help maximise the efficiency and performance of health care systems, by building up expertise for assessing performance and the outcomes from public health spending, and making the findings available. The link that the commission is now explicitly making with the activities of the European semester, the mechanism for coordinating Member States’ economic and budgetary policies, demonstrates the decisive role of the health system as a factor for the economy and for stability and growth.

A defining moment

The awareness that health policy is at a turning point, for Europe and for the wider world, was a constant stimulus throughout this year’s EHFG. Whether discussing the prospects for personalised medicine or the scope for integrating technology into healthcare, or reflecting on the inequalities of opportunity or the surging costs of social provision, participants confronted the gaps between aspirations and reality, between potential and achievement. But the evidence served only to reinforce the common determination to seek better health for all. The Forum focused on formulating remedies, improvements, and solutions, and on seeking synergies among distinct interpretations, rival ambitions or conflicting pressures.

Read the whole report on EHFG 2014 outcomes here.


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





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