EuroHealthNet responded to the draft opinion on Options to Foster Health Promoting Health Systems by the EU Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health (EXPH). In EuroHealthNet’s opinion, the Draft Opinion is a useful contribution to develop strategic approaches to implementing health promotion within the EU region and strengthening the integration of health promotion within health systems. Recognising that health promotion is an essential strategic approach for addressing health inequalities and wider systemic determinants of physical and mental health is a fundamental message that should underpin further action on transformation of health, care and wider public systems in Europe.
However, we suggest that the Opinion should clarify the responsibilities and accountabilities of the EU and Member States, and to set out potential measures in terms of time frame. EurohealthNet also suggests that several important points should be addressed to strengthen the opinion:
- The need for a clearer definition or clarification of what is meant by health promoting systems.
- Include a stronger focus on digital transformation and digital health.
- Consider the underpinning macro-economic perspective in achieving health promoting health systems.
- The need for timely evidence and impact assessments as part of policymaking cycles across sectors.
- Ensure capacity building in human resources, institutional structures and processes for health promotion.
- Highlight the importance of sustained multi-level partnerships for health promotion.
- Reinforce leadership and coordination at EU-levels.
- A stronger emphasis on the reorientation of a medical model of health and addressing the ‘lifestyle drift’ of health promotion.