The EMHF kicked about a number of good ideas at this year's Gastein conference calling for health to be embedded in all EU policy and underpinned by gender-sensitive research and disaggregated data.
Some 580 participants from over 58 countries attended the 13th EHF Congress in Bad Hofgastein last month including 12 ministers and permanent secretaries of state.
Under the banner 'Creating a better future for health in Europe’, key contemporary issues in European health policy were discussed including healthy ageing, global health issues and investment in the health of tomorrow’s workforce. The EMHF hosted a joint workshop with the European Institute for Women's Health and the European Patient Forum entitled ‘From Health Kick to Goal'.
Acting on the recommendations from last year’s workshop at Gastein and using the same 'health kick to goal’ format, this year’s theme was: ‘teamwork to improve health outcomes’. Around 70 people attended the workshop - including ministers from the EC and EU - taking part in a lively debate that was, says EMHF coordinator Veronica Wray, 'thinly disguised as football practice!'
Six team goals
A number of recommendations - or goals - emerged from the event including:
- The need for health to be embedded in all EU policy.
- The need for an energetic and effective distribution of the Men’s Health in Europe Report. (To be published in 2011)
- The need for a ‘gender sensitive’ approach to biomedical and health research, by including men and women in appropriate numbers in clinical trials.
- The need for the EU to collect disaggregated data by gender, age and socio-economic status.
- The need to tackle chronic diseases and increase the healthy life expectancy of men and women, by taking a gender-sensitive approach to prevention across the life-span.
- To have a realistic approach to teamwork not least with support from the Commission to enable small voluntary sector organisations to work together better and with greater impact by producing more than the sum of their individual parts.
'Evaluation from the delegates was extremely positive with 100% of the attendees saying that they would like a return ‘match’ next year,' Veronica reported. 'The organisers regard the Congress as the most successful event to date and plans for the 14th European Health Forum on 5-8th October 2011 are already in place.'
The EMHF too is now in planning mode for October 2011 and anyone who is interested in sponsoring /supporting or just attending next year’s Event should contact us.
- Image: the EMHF team - EMHF board members Alan White and John Bowis, EMHF president Ian Banks, Anders Olauson (European Patients Forum) and Hildrun Sundseth (European Institute for Women's Health)