RIVM presents four scenarios on future public health at European Health Forum Gastein

01 October 2014

On the first day of the 17th European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG), the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) organised a workshop on ‘Our health in 2040’, in which Caroline Costongs - EuroHealthNet's Managing Director - participated. The workshop was based on the sixth edition of the Public Health Status and Foresight Report (PHSF): A healthier Netherlands. Annemiek van Bolhuis and Henk Hilderink (RIVM) shared their working experience with different future scenarios for public health. Together with a panel and the audience, they discussed how foresight and scenarios can support policy-making in Europe.

The Public Health Status and Foresight Report (PHSF) 2014 provides a broad overview of the most important trends in Dutch public health. In the coming years, life expectancy will continue to rise, with large differences between population groups. More people will live with a chronic disease and healthcare costs will increase. What does this mean for the future of public health? Which of these trends do we want to tackle first? People differ in what they think is most important. To make Europe healthier, we need to use these differences to develop a strong strategy.

Four scenarios

In the workshop, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment - RIVM - presented four future scenarios based on different normative perspectives on public health, each with its own challenge:

  • In the best of health: Keep everyone healthy and cure diseases
  • Everyone participates: support the ‘less able’ in society and promote participation
  • Taking personal control: stimulate autonomy and freedom of choice
  • Healthy prosperity: Keep healthcare affordable

The discussion focused at the confrontation of the four scenarios: where do policy measures serve multiple challenges, and where do policy measures designed to tackle one challenge hamper other challenges? What are the no-regret options and what are the choices?

European Health Forum Gastein

From 1 to 3 October 2014, the 17th European Health Forum Gastein takes place in Bad Hofgastein, Austria. The EHFG is the leading health policy event in the European Union and takes place annually. It provides a major platform for decision-makers in various fields of public health & health care. With its wide-ranging three-day programme, the EHFG offers an unparalleled opportunity to exchange information about a broad spectrum of contemporary health issues.

To access the Public Health Status and Foresight Report (PHSF) 2014, click here