Tackling health inequalities in a fast changing world: call and commitment for action

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EuroHealthNet and its partners have unanimously agreed on a call and commitment for action on developing sustainable and equitable health and wellbeing, to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and EU objectives such as the proposed European Pillar of Social Rights. The call urges policy makers, practitioners, and researchers to work in partnership to tackle health, economic, social, and environmental priorities and inequalities.

The call and commitment for action is based on the REJUVENATE Statement and Framework, which was developed 2016 by EuroHealthNet to contribute towards the UN 2030 Agenda through modern health promotion approaches. The call results from the EuroHealthNet General Council meeting which included a seminar on Tackling health inequalities in a fast changing world co-organised with the Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health (SOSTE). The seminar considered innovative examples from Finland and across Europe of how better health is a political choice, why health inequalities persist within and between states, and how digital and social innovation developments can be transformative for health and wellbeing. A report of the seminar is available here. 

EuroHealthNet and its members commit to lead and support efforts towards sustainable health equity and wellbeing by:

  • Stepping up our efforts to tackling the determinants of health and inequities.
  • Applying a life-course approach, to leave no one behind, also acknowledging that disadvantages accumulate over life and a good start in life is key.
  • Supporting healthy places, environments and communities;
  • Involving new allies at all levels and develop partnerships.
  • Strengthening health promoting systems, and ensuring that health systems are equitable.
  • Strengthening public health and health promotion research, innovation and evaluation, also promoting the use of evidence, information and research for policy and practice.

President Nicoline Tamsma welcomed the call and commitment for action: “There was unanimous agreement that we can help to meet major societal challenges through better partnerships and actions which promote sustainable health, wellbeing and equity.”

Director Caroline Costongs said: “At the meeting, our Annual Report 2016-2017 was published. It shows how our diverse activities have an impact on the ground, through our member agencies who are publicly responsible for health in their countries. We are embracing the best established methods and explore new ones; always with an equity lens. We invite new partners to join us to contribute strongly to the planning of the Future of Europe and to help implement our REJUVENATE ideas at this crucial time.”

Notes:

The call and commitment for action  is available here

The EuroHealthNet Annual Activities Report is here

Information about rejuvenate is available here

 

Below is a list of presentations made during the seminar

Päivi Sillanaukee, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health - Successful co-operation within social and health sector will lead to people’s best 
Juhani Eskola, Director General of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) - Integrated services to reduce health inequalities 
Prof Clare Bambra, Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University - Health inequalities in European welfare states 
Mojca Gabrijelcic Blenkus, Senior Adviser at the Slovenia National Institute of Public Health - Longevity strategy in Slovenia 
Elisabeth Bengtsson, Senior Advisor in Public Health at Region Vastra Gotaland - Health is a political choice 
Jussi Ahokas, Chief Economist of SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health - Welfare economy and investing in well-being
Prof Olli Kangas, Director of Policy and Community Relations at the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) - Experimenting with Basic Income in Finland
Clive Needle, Senior Policy Advisor at EuroHealthNet - New thinking in EU Social and Health Policy 
Eileen Scott, Principal Public Health Advisor at NHS Health Scotland - A fairer, healthier Scotland

 

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EuroHealthNet is the European Partnership for improving health equity and wellbeing. It brings together public bodies working at local to regional, national, and international levels across Europe. Our mission is to help build healthier communities and tackle health inequalities within and between European States.

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Press Contact: Alexandra Latham, Communication Coordinator a.latham@eurohealthnet.eu / + 32 2 235 03 28