The European Men's Health Forum was present along with a large audience of the main health policy stakeholders in the European Union when the EU Open Health Forum met for the first time in Brussels on May 17.
The Open Health Forum acts as a platform for general exchange of information and for discussion of key EU health issues with a broad range of representatives from organisations of patients, health professionals and other stakeholders, such as health service providers. It is a component of the EU Health Forum set up by the Commission in 2000 to ensure EU health strategy is transparent and responds to the public concerns.
David Byrne, European Commissioner for health opened the conference and spoke of the rising importance of health in the EU political agenda and of its expected future developments. Two plenary sessions then explored visions and challenges within the enlarged Europe while three parallel sessions in the afternoon respectively focussed on the challenges of providing high quality health services in the enlarged Europe, healthy lifestyles in Europe, and citizens and health.
Pavel Telicka, new European Commissioner, concluded the meeting by providing an overview of some of the main areas he will be focussing on, namely HIV/AIDS and Health and the environment.
From healthy lifestyles, to communicable diseases, a gender perspective seems increasingly relevant to addressing many of the current and future EU health challenges. It is hoped that such preoccupations will be reflected later this year in the reshuffle of the EU Health Policy Forum, the permanent group of stakeholder representatives advising the Commission on health policy matters.
For further information about the event and detail of the speeches and presentation, click here.