EuroHealthNet Press release - "New Deal for health promotion call to world congress", 23rd May 2012

EuroHealthNet Director Clive Needle has called for a "New Deal for Health Promotion for Europe by 2020". Speaking Wednesday at the World Health Care Congress held in Amsterdam, CN told the audience of care providers, businesses and regulators that current global economic problems show an imperative for radical reorientation of health and social systems before the decade ends.

"Everyone is suddenly looking for ways to balance quality and safe healthcare with needs of affordability, sustainability and equity. Many chant old or untrue mantras about risk factors or fail to define what real health means. As defined by the WHO health is not just the absence of disease, but social, mental and physical wellbeing for all. A much more holistic approach is needed.

The conceptual theories behind health promotion are both innovative and well established in evidence. They include individual and societal benefits and encompass the real causes behind behaviours and ill health: the social, economic and environmental factors. But we need to move beyond theories as people demand concrete solutions. It is time to bridge the gap between public health, traditional care models and emerging business ideas and techniques such as a eHealth, mHealth and social entrepreneurship.EuroHealthNet is already working with the EC and national partners to bridge those gaps. Next week in Brussels during our "EU Equity Week" we will stimulate new thinking on health benefits for transport, schools, pensions and other social systems. And we don't need to spend a single Euro more: just use resources better. Our challenge is for all actors to build a New Deal for modern health promotion. If major companies such as Vodaphone want to work on new technologies we say good, but let's also talk about the content of messages, not just processes to reach mobile phone users, and health promoters can help that.

If Pepsico wants to promote safer parks and pathways to tackle obesity, health promoters have the evidence how to engage and build healthy communities. Let's work together. But markets also have limits, as many thinkers and policymakers are increasingly saying. We also want to talk about public health and social values, and that includes regulation of some risk factors as well as sustainable development rather than rampant consumerism. So that's the deal: don't just complain markets are hindered by poor public policy - we can help you if you help us."

For further information, contact EurohealthNet Communications Coordinator Ariane Moret