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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Public Health is Part of the Solution

Recently, in April 2013, WHO Regional Office for Europe held a High Level European Forum on Health Systems and the current economic crisis, organized with the kind support of the Government of Norway.

For the first time, public health, prevention of diseases and promotion of health and well-being was part of the agenda.

Obviously, strengthening sustainable investment for Public Health Services and approaches, has high potential to reduce health care costs and contribute to the economic recovery.

A full report will follow. There are, however, strong signs and call in all European countries to:
  • strengthen sustainable investment for Public Health Services and approaches to reduce health care costs and contribute to the wider economic recovery, and aim for a year on year increase in the  proportion of health sector funding directed to prevention and public health aiming to level up the European average.
  • modernise and protect effective and efficient Public Health Services and ensure sustainable financing mechanisms for example: from taxation or insurance programmes and explore innovative sources of funding.
  • a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, hence cost-saving interventions to prioritise include: mental health promotion and healthy employment approaches.
  • additional areas that have high returns on investment include: promoting green space, safer road traffic measures and active transport interventions.
  • legislative interventions on alcohol and tobacco control measures have minimal investment costs with high levels of health gain and cost savings.
  • apply a strategic approach prioritising cost-savings that maximise health outcomes;
  • ensure a life course approach is taken and inequalities are addressed in a sustainable way.
  • promote Health Impact Assessment to reduce adoption of policies that are harmful to health.
  • Build and apply knowledge, tools and raise awareness of public health and cost analysis
During the session on Public Health  related to the implementation of the European Action Plan on Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services, a video clip has been presented.

It is already in YouTube. Watch it by following the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KrFLetj6CQ&list=PL6BDECE22D044ED11

You kan find and use the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services as well as many more important and useful documents on: http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/Health-systems/public-health-services