Supporting Sustainable Healthcare Systems:
EFPIA’s Chief Economist, Dr. Richard Torbett, continues the #HealthyEU blog series with a discussion of collaborative approaches to health policy that are taking forward the #HealthyEU campaign’s vision of an integrated life sciences strategy for Europe.
Expanding the conversation on how to foster excellence, equity and sustainability in European healthcare systems is one of the priorities of EFPIA’s #HealthyEU campaign. Europe needs to encourage the use of multi-stakeholder approaches to solve policy challenges.
This was part of the impetus behind the ‘Vilnius Declaration’, which was agreed at a high-level health event of the Lithuanian Presidency last Autumn. The Declaration set out three broad action points, developed by participants which included representatives from patient organisations, the public health community as well as industry and government organisations. The aim? Ensure European health systems are people-centred, sustainable and inclusive – and that they deliver good health for all. To achieve this, it is necessary to:
- Increase investment in health promotion and disease prevention;
- Ensure universal access to high-quality, people-centred health services;
- Ensure that health system reforms – including workforce planning – are evidence-based and focus on cost-effectiveness, sustainability and good governance.
The Declaration was important, not only for the relevance of its content, but also as a focus for collaborative effort between stakeholders – one that we hope to continue in future. The Vilnius Conference – which was co-sponsored by EFPIA, the European Public Health Alliance and the European Patients Forum, reflected the need to look forward at health not only as a necessary cost, but also as an investment that can contribute positively to economic growth. As I wrote at the time, the timing couldn’t have been better for the diverse parties present to sit down and discuss Europe’s.future.
If Europe is to retain its tradition of universal health systems – against a backdrop of increasing demand for services and ever tighter budgets – it is important that we all take the ideas found in the Vilnius Declaration seriously and continue to work together to find a way forward.