EuroHealthNet calls for new and improved approaches to financing for health promotion and health equity – EuroHealthNet General Council Statement June 2018

8 June, 2018

The EuroHealthNet General Council, meeting in Brussels 6-7 June 2018, notes:

Learning from the EuroHealthNet Policy Seminar “Smart Investments? Let’s talk prevention” held in Brussels on 5 June, including:

    • The need for shifts to health promotion and disease prevention;
    • How to ensure smart use of available funds;
    • How to set up innovative structures;
    • How to encourage funders to use powers for investment shifts;
  • Publications to date of European Commission proposals for a Multi-Annual Financial Framework for the EU 2021-27, including the proposed new ESF+ group of programmes and the Horizon Europe Programme;
  • Continuing discussion of proposals for the future roles and powers of the EU, including during European Parliament elections to be held 23-26 May 2019,
  • Progress on the European Pillar of Social Rights, including towards strengthening of the European Semester for economic and social policy coordination;
  • Adoption by the 71st World Health Assembly of the 13th multiannual General Programme of Work for WHO, in the context of UN Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.

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

EuroHealthNet confirms that the future for health lies with effective health promotion and prevention of diseases, through community based services linking people and professionals to shape the conditions for health equity and wellbeing.

EuroHealthNet expresses regret that European Commission proposals for a future EU health programme 2021-7 (while suggesting benefits of integrated approaches within the ESF+ and Horizon Europe programmes) nevertheless :

  • include reductions of already modest funds and address insufficient explicit attention to health promotion;
  • do not sufficiently address how growing levels of  non-communicable diseases and health inequalities  will be tackled;
  • do not sufficiently promote health and wellbeing in other proposed programmes impacting on health determinants, specifically proposals regarding the Common Agricultural Policy.

Therefore EuroHealthNet calls on the EU Council and Parliament to consider improvements to the MFF that fully implement the EU Treaty requirements to protect health in all policies, and to promote wellbeing, cohesion and equity. EuroHealthNet commends:

  • The inspirational examples set out at the seminar “Smart Investments? Let’s Talk Prevention” by implementers, innovators, legislators and practitioners; and calls for them to be applied and scaled up systematically where appropriate for health improvements at all levels;
  • Improvements to the European Semester towards better social and health policy tools and instruments with real potential impacts in Member States; and calls for health and social equity stakeholders and investors to actively engage with positive national programmes.
  • The REJUVENATE framework developed by the Executive Board, agreed by the EuroHealthNet General Council in 2017 as a contribution towards 21st century health promotion.

EuroHealthNet commits to mobilise the collective knowledge, skills and experience of its members to:

  • Help investment decision makers to become more health and equity literate through understanding evidence on the benefits, cost saving, and cost effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention, by developing evidence based guidelines, impact assessments etc;
  • Help members, partners and health stakeholders become more financially literate and engage better with relevant funding and investment institutions, agencies and investors, building on legislative and other examples towards more timely and “bankable” initiatives including social and health impact bonds and other instruments;
  • Identify intermediaries and alliances to help develop suitable short, medium and long term proposals, projects and ways to bundle and scale up innovation, good and promising practices and useful infrastructures;
  • Help to overcome barriers of cross sectoral governance, stewardship and exclusion of key stakeholders by enabling, understanding multiple roles and shifts, building common metrics;

And generally contribute to:

  • The development of EU Programmes towards better funding and activity support for Health in all EU Policies and activities; and improve the implementation of commitments for wellbeing, social equity, health promotion and disease prevention within the EU Treaties;
  • Incorporating and stimulating transformative advances through innovative approaches and emerging digital technologies; while safeguarding the physical and mental wellbeing of people throughout the life course in the face of rapid changes and disruptions, for example by enhancing health literacy and addressing commercial determinants of health.
  • The universal achievement of aims, objectives, and targets within the UN agenda process and Sustainable Development Goals, including knowledge and capacity building to address targets on tackling incidence of non-communicable (chronic) diseases and inequalities.

Read the statement here.

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