return to Forum Europe website

The story so far

Back in 2013, we launched our Sustainable Healthcare initiative with the Recipes for Sustainable Healthcare event. It sought to address the environment of demographic change and economic constraints facing European healthcare systems, and to counter solutions which focus purely on cutting headline treatment costs.


Recipes for Sustainable Healthcare advocated an innovative approach, focused on ensuring people enjoy active productive lives and reach old age in good health. It offered concrete solutions and ideas that have helped to inform a more sustainable, forward-thinking healthcare environment – cooking up a better future both for our Healthcare Systems and for the people of Europe.


For healthcare to be truly sustainable, multiple governments and stakeholders – including policymakers, insurers, providers, manufacturers and patients – must work together. Our 2013 event called for a transnational, multi-stakeholder approach. Supported by AbbVie, Philips and the European Public Health Association, it featured speakers from the WHO, the European Parliament, patient groups, national governments and policy forums. In addition we heard from people who are already making sustainable healthcare happen through innovative projects and initiatives that reduce pressure on hospitals and systems and help people stay at home, stay in work and enjoy their lives, even while they are being treated.


Of course the most important people in any healthcare system are its patients – and they were very much the focus of the Recipes for Sustainable Healthcare event. It concentrated on four chronic conditions that affect a large (and growing) number of people across Europe. We invited people living with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis and hepatitis C to share their experiences, and found ways we could give delegates an insight into their everyday life. Interactive experiences ranged from a cookery demonstration featuring British celebrity chef James Martin – who invited volunteers to cook using a glove simulating the mobility restrictions experienced by people with RA – to prosthetic make up resembling the outward signs of psoriasis to simulations of life with Crohns disease and hepatitis C. They gave a valuable insight into these conditions, their impacts and the importance of helping people become able to take control of their disease and get on with life.


Recipes for Sustainable Healthcare ended with a speech from Olympic legend Dick Fosbury, who spoke about the challenges, obstacles and rewards of re-inventing high jumping in the 1960s. It was a wonderful analogy for the challenge healthcare systems have to overcome. We must re-think and re-invent our systems to reap the rewards truly sustainable healthcare can offer our societies.


As soon as the event was over, healthcare stakeholders got to work across the region, creating National and European white papers setting out their visions and action plans for developing and delivering truly sustainable healthcare systems. As well as preventing, treating and managing chronic conditions to help people enjoy their longer lives to the fullest extent, we must find ways to we can continue to deliver the benefits of the incredible clinical, medical and technological advances occurring around the healthcare universe.


As we publish the European White Paper, we are delighted to enter the next phase of our Sustainable Healthcare Initiative as we begin planning the Roadmap for Sustainable Healthcare. 


Further information on the Recipes for Sustainable Healthcare event is available at




Thursday 19 March, 2015
08.30 to 16.45




La Bibliothèque Solvay

Parc LĂ©opold
Rue Belliard 137
1040 Brussels

Google location map



Forum Europe