Healthcare systems around Europe are facing a number of challenges:
- An ageing population: 37% of Europe’s population will be over 60 by 2050.
- A shift to chronic care: Chronic diseases are responsible for more than 86% of all deaths. They affect more than 8 out of 10 of people over 65, and account for around 75% of healthcare spending. That is an estimated €700bn every year: a major challenge for health and social systems.
- On-going economic pressures: Unprecedented cuts to public spending on health have, according to the WHO, significantly destabilised health systems across the continent.
Healthcare systems in Europe and across the world need to respond to these challenges; all actors, including patients, health professionals, policymakers and industry must work together to adapt to new societal needs, and become more sustainable.
The European Steering Group on Sustainable Healthcare (ESG) – which brings together senior academics, politicians, patients, and industry - will provide a forum for discussion on concrete ideas and recommendations for long-term sustainability.
Pan European White Paper and Conference Opening Video
Over the course of 2014, the ESG met regularly to exchange ideas, debate the challenges and study scalable actions in order to identify tangible solutions to improve healthcare systems. The results of their work have been compiled in a pan-European White Paper and Call to Action document which intend to contribute to the ongoing discussions on sustainable healthcare. The analysis and recommendations are informed by inputs and engagement with a range of stakeholders and experts. In particular, these two documents were influenced by a number of successful initiatives from across Europe and further afield, projects which offer the potential for mainstreaming or scaling up in order to transform our healthcare systems.
The global findings are the following:
. Smart health expenditure can be an investment rather than a cost: investment in prevention and early intervention is essential for healthcare sustainability and socioeconomic development and stability
. Empowered and responsible citizens are the main players contributing to healthcare sustainability
. Integrated care based on patient pathways, and care delivery shifted from hospitals so communities and homes foster greater efficiencies and better health outcomes
White Paper on Sustainable Healthcare Rapporteur and Professor of Public Health
Sacred Heart Catholic University, Rome
An exciting high level conference day
The day-long conference consisted of four sessions:
- Taking action together: a roadmap towards sustainable healthcare.
- Challenge accepted: inspirational transformations of healthcare systems in Europe and the world.
- The policy response both at central level and in the regions to ensure future sustainability.
- Turning bad into better: a focus on concrete initiatives to improve healthcare sustainability in countries with economic difficulties.
Should you have any questions relating to the event and the post-conference materials available, please contact Charlene Selmer on firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0) 2920 783 024.