Improving healthcare access, delivery and outcomes – Discover the #EHMA2022 topics

17 February 2022

Universal health coverage is one of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Although the European Union is close to universal population coverage, many subgroups of the population face inequalities and considerable barriers that impede access to healthcare resources and services and affect their health and wellbeing. Social and income status were the most significant barriers to accessing healthcare and having positive health outcomes. Frail elderly, people who are mentally ill, people who are homeless, and undocumented migrant groups face even more complex barriers to access [1].

The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the impact of pre-existing health inequalities in European countries. People with lower education and income levels encountered higher risks of infection, higher excess mortality rates, higher risks of developing severe COVID-19, as well as higher hospital admission rates, in the case of migrants. Young people, older people, people with underlying health conditions, people with disabilities, and women were also disproportionately affected by mental health burden. The pandemic has also disrupted access to non-COVID services for many patients across Europe, including causing delays in elective procedures, such as hip replacement, preventing access to timely cancer diagnosis and treatment, which will lead to more negative patient outcomes and lower patient satisfaction rates [2].

For health systems to respond to ongoing and emerging health challenges, they must better address existing disparities in access to health services and ensure that they are not exacerbating or creating inequalities that leave certain population groups behind. The questions then are:

  • How can health systems ensure equitable access to health services, and achieve the delivery of better quality of care and better health outcomes?
  • What are the new developments in models of healthcare delivery?
  • What is the role of digital healthcare as a catalyst to improve health equality and equity?

Have you carried out research focusing on improving health access and outcomes? Would you be interested in sharing your results with the health management community? Then don’t forget to submit your abstract before Friday, 4 March at 17.00 CET. You will find all the relevant information for the Call of Abstracts here.

 

[1] European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (2021) Gaps in coverage and access in the European Union.
[2] European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) (2021) The State of Health in the EU: Companion Report 2021.
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I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

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EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

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Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

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Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

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