Tackling Health Inequalities in a Fast-Changing World

31 May 2017

On May 31st, EuroHealthNet organised a seminar on 'Tackling health inequalities in a fast changing world' in Helsinki, Finland.

Download the seminar report (.pdf)

- What are the latest trends and thinking in health and social policy? 
- Are our approaches to promoting health and social equity able to respond to new and emerging challenges?
- How can we reduce health inequalities in a changing political and social landscape?
- What is the scope for European action following the EC White Paper on the future scenarios of Europe?

Social and health policies have common objectives in terms of building a fair and socially sustainable society with health and wellbeing for all.  This seminar looked at how health and social organisations can cooperate to work effectively to reach shared goals. 

We need action to make a shift from care/cure to prevention across various sectors and services, in holistic and integrated ways, and to empower people across the life course. In this seminar, we assessed what this means in Europe’s changing social landscape. 

In the first session ‘health is a political choice’, we set out the various social challenges the EU is facing, and how these impact the health of people and health inequalities.  

In the second session ‘health and social integrated actions’, we focused on how we can increase the impact of social and health organisations and take stock of new developments.

Speakers at the seminar included:

Päivi Sillanaukee, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Ana-Carla Pereira,Head of Unit Social Protection, European Commission DG Employment and Social Affairs: EU Pillar of Social Rights 

Juhani Eskola, Director General of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)

Prof Clare Bambra, Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University

Mojca Gabrijelcic Blenkus, Senior Adviser at the Slovenia National Institute of Public Health

Elisabeth Bengtsson, Senior Advisor in Public Health at Region Vastra Gotaland

Jussi Ahokas, Chief Economist of SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health

Prof Olli Kangas, Director of Policy and Community Relations at the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela)

Clive Needle, Senior Policy Advisor at EuroHealthNet

Eileen Scott, Principal Public Health Advisor at NHS Health Scotland

Nicoline Tamsma, President of EuroHealthNet 

The seminar was organised by EuroHealthNet and the SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health, and chaired by Caroline Costongs (EuroHealthNet Director) and Kristiina Kumpula (Chair of the SOSTE Council).


On June 1st & 2nd, Members and Partners gathered for the Annual and General Council Meeting to discus and endorse:

  • EuroHealthNet business
  • EuroHealthNet strategy for 2020
  • Outline of core grant applications & in relation to EuroHealthNet’s mission and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Group discussions on core-grant opportunities for EuroHealthNet, EU priorities and impact
  • Site visits of local initiatives

Call and commitment for action to take REJUVENATE forward 2017 – 2020

More information on the General Council Meeting is available here (member-only & password-protected)