Across Europe on February 14th people are celebrating or initiating partnerships. The date coincides with an inspiring event in Slovenia where national Government Ministries and European Commission Directorates commit to building new partnerships to overcome national problems. EuroHealthNet, the European Partnership for health, wellbeing and equity, has helped to bring together a range of actors to combine resources and ideas on tackling the needs of older people in Slovenia and spread learning across Europe.
Inspired by the launch of the EU Social Investment Package in 2013, EuroHealthNet member the Slovene National Institute for Public Health identified healthier ageing as a priority among the economic recommendations the state needs to address. Within a year, an innovative project partnership has been formed with EU funding support, with vital leadership from officials from both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities. With Ministerial involvement, a major national conference is taking place on St Valentine's Day at Brdo pri Kranju to highlight how actions on retirement, social inclusion, healthy living, disease prevention and affordable care can benefit citizens. Leading EU officials from Health and Social Policy Directorates will take part, as well as National Institute Deputy Director Ada Hočevar Grom and EuroHealthNet Managing Director Caroline Costongs.
Coordinated actions on health promotion and disease prevention, long-term care and older people's employability have the potential to contribute to prolonging the healthy life years in 65+ population group in Slovenia. This can encourage longer healthy lives and postpone frailty with the aim of enabling people to actively contribute more to society and gain themselves. The event is also used to explore cost effective investments in the fields of health, social protection, long-term care and other sectors.
This aspect of EuroHealthNet's work seeks to directly support and actively contribute to the EU 2020 strategy and the related poverty target as well as to the EU policy framework for social investment and innovation. The aim is to identify areas of specific added value with regards to the fight against social inequalities in health, particularly working on the implementation of approaches using the EU mechanisms and instruments beyond but close to the health sector. The idea is also to help shape national policies and social protection and health systems in a complementary, integrated, effective, adequate and sustainable way.
Dr. Mojca Gabrielcic- Blenkus, NIPH Slovenia, said: "SIP shall contribute to the understanding that inputs in public health and social protection are not short term costs but long term investments in human capital in Slovenia. Today's event is organized to raise awareness of the potentials of the Social Investment Package in a very broad range of different stakeholders, involved in providing arguments or using those arguments in policy decision processes, linked to health and social protection."
EuroHealthNet Managing Director Caroline Costongs added "We are keen to learn from the Slovenian example on how to bring health and social sectors together to achieve common goals for a fair and sustainable society. We will take this learning and work with our member agencies to encourage similar SIP approaches in other EU Member states".
- For more information on the inter-Ministerial conference or EuroHealthNet, contact EuroHealthnet's Health and Social Investment Manager Stecy Yghemonos.
- For more information on the Social Investment Package (SIP), click here.