Today EuroHealthNet launches an online guide for financing health promoting services. Good health and wellbeing is a value in itself but also arguably our greatest social and economic asset. Relatively few resources however, go into fostering this asset by promoting health and preventing illness across the population. The e-guide encourages health and social planners and policy makers at all levels to address this issue, and to find innovative ways to invest in health and wellbeing. It includes case studies and examples that can provide inspiration, and the latest developments on potential new sources and novel approaches to finance health and social measures that tackle the underlying causes of ill-health and disease.
The e-guide is especially relevant now, as the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a further increase in chronic diseases and exacerbate health inequalities. Dedicated investments in prevention and health promotion at national, regional and local levels will be needed to strengthen the resilience of communities and to increase the sustainability of our health systems.
“The scale of investments needed requires us to act smartly and differently, to create new partnerships and to liaise better with the finance sector. We developed this e-guide as an initiative by the Coalition of Partners to strengthen Public Health Services of the WHO European Region. We also worked closely with the Steering Board for Social Infrastructure in Brussels. We aim to mobilise health policy makers and managers to explore new investment structures for health equity. This e-guide is a start and we welcome additional ideas and resources”, said Caroline Costongs, EuroHealthNet Director
The e-guide includes a wide spectrum of approaches that can be applied to mobilise resources to finance the delivery of such health promoting services. These include, for example, the use of outcome-based contract models, and of finance labels for equitable health promotion investments. Alongside evidence and case studies from Europe, Canada and the United States, the e-guide includes practical tools such as quality criteria for impact investments, business planning advice, guidance on ethical aspects, as well as an overview of COVID-19 recovery funds and finances. It will be updated regularly.
By taking a broad approach to health promotion and by implementing a ‘health equity in all policies’ perspective, this guide aims to increase collaboration across sectors, including the finance sector, and to stimulate novel approaches to facilitate the transition at a scale that is needed to improve the health and wellbeing of all people.