EuroHealthNet General Council Meeting Statement June 2019


The EuroHealthNet General Council, meeting in Madrid 4-6 June 2019, notes:

Learning from the EuroHealthNet Seminar “The role of health professionals in addressing health equity” held in Madrid on 4 June, including:

  • Health equity needs and actions in training programmes in Spain and across Europe;
  • Making use of data in planning to foresee needs and adapt services;
  • Responding to the underlying social, economic and environmental causes of ill-health;
  • Applying health equity in practice, including through use of technological advances;

Learning from discussions at the EuroHealthNet Annual Meeting which focused on:

  • Outcomes of the European Parliament elections held 23-26 May 2019,
  • Progress in inter-institutional negotiations towards a Multi-Annual Financial Framework for the EU 2021-27;
  • Developments towards agreements on the Future of Europe processes;
  • Progress on the European Pillar of Social Rights and towards strengthening of the European Semester for economic and social policy coordination;
  • Outcomes of the 72nd World Health Assembly and relevant progress towards achieving UN Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Preparations for the imminent Ljubljana Conference Accelerating Progress Towards Healthy and Prosperous Lives for all in the WHO European Region and its planned draft Resolution for the WHO Europe 69th Regional Committee in September 2019.

EuroHealthNet reconfirms that the future for health and wellbeing lies with positive and just environments that enable effective health promotion and prevention of diseases, through integrated and community-based services linking people and professionals to shape the everyday conditions for health equity and wellbeing. This is established in the WHO Ottawa Charter; particularly its clear aim to reorient and improve health services.

The effective involvement and engagement of health professionals is a crucial element for this, now and in the future. The responsibility for the organisation and delivery of health and care systems rests primarily within countries. However there is much that can be achieved through shared learning and better use of instruments, which can help improve professional effectiveness for the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

The potential role of wider public health and societal workforce is too often underestimated and overlooked in tackling health determinants. These include professionals and support workers within and outside health and care systems, such as (inter alia) in social, education, environmental, housing, cultural and other municipal systems; informal carers and digital service providers.

EuroHealthNet recognises that such stakeholders and actors, including private and volunteer sector providers, often now act in new multisectoral and multicultural environments and settings. Wider and rapidly changing health determinants are key, including climate change, commercial and political factors. Effective integration, innovative partnership, people centred practices and modern networking are vital for inclusive health promotion.

EuroHealthNet again reiterates its concern that prioritisation and direct funding for public health, health promotion, disease prevention, sustainable development and social equity remain insufficient to successfully achieve all goals and objectives set globally, in the EU, at national and regional levels.

Despite those constraints, EuroHealthNet draws attention to its effective work that means:

  • new ways of improving health, equity and sustainability are being identified, based on new forms of evidence, including the inspiring INHERIT consortium outcomes;
  • new tools are being developed, such as a new Guide for investments in health promoting services; for new funding sources; and towards new financing mechanisms;
  • our Policy, Practice, Research and Communication Platforms are making meaningful contributions towards our REJUVENATE strategic framework. This was agreed by the EuroHealthNet General Council in 2017 and is being actively taken forward as a contribution towards 21st century health promotion and Sustainable Development Goals.
Therefore, EuroHealthNet:
  • will continue to advocate evidence-informed improvements for policies, programmes and activities that implement approaches towards health equity,
  • commits to mobilise the collective knowledge, skills and experience of its Partnership towards improving health equity, including in health and other professional training and development;
  • will contribute towards the effective engagement with all relevant sectors and professions;
  • calls on all relevant institutions, organisations, authorities and agencies in Europe to work to promote and implement wellbeing, cohesion, social justice and equity.
  • urges this to include modern training programmes and enhancing health literacy in all professions throughout public, private and civil society sectors;
  • recommends decision makers at EU and Member State levels to evolve the European Semester towards improving health through more equitable policy tools and instruments;
  • believes that this should more strongly feature systematic reorientation towards positive impacts for health equity within Member States, and include system transformations;
  • restates the need to prioritise integration of EU objectives from 2020 to 2030 to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and contribute to global solutions;
  • urges health and social equity stakeholders and investors to actively engage with national and international programmes for better training, professional development and (digital) health literacy skills for all;
  • encourages the more effective use of improved, ethical and transparent data collection and application;
  • advises this enhanced use of data and knowledge is directed towards planning of public and private systems which are conducive to greatest possible health equity, including towards implementation of effective learning throughout life.

Agreed at Madrid, 6 June 2019

Publishing Date on website: 
Friday, June 7, 2019 - 12