Health ministers and high-level representatives of the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region as well as partner organisations and civil society will take part in the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in Rome, Italy.

EuroHealthNet is presenting two statements. The full text can be found below.

On Item 5.d: ‘Can people afford to pay for health care? New evidence on financial protection in Europe’

We stress the need for European Member States to urgently act on the guidance issued. Health ministries should use available policy instruments such as the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Semester, the annual economic and fiscal guidance for individual Member States.

At the EU level, financial protection must be incorporated into the social fairness legislation and the 2019  Semester process.

On Items 5.e and 5.j,  Reports on the WHO high-level meetings on Health Systems in Sitges and Tallinn

We note that non-communicable disease epidemics are growing and are strongly related to the persistent health inequalities in Europe. Tackling NCDs requires urgent and joint action where health systems have a pivotal role. Most of the factors associated with NCDs are largely preventable, and require a stronger health promotion and disease prevention response.

Health systems must engage in tackling broader societal determinants, in particular with regard to the social gradient of inequalities, using their knowledge and experience.

As the WHO wants to transform health systems and not leave anyone behind, we suggest developing a much more explicit and meaningful approach to integrating health promotion and social determinants- approaches throughout the system, with an increased role in primary care services.