Recipes for a Healthier Europe by the new Commission President-elect?
17 July 2019
Ursula von der Leyen’s medical background has a huge potential, European patient, academic and public health NGOs say
Brussels, 16 July 2019 – On behalf of patients, medical associations, health managers and the wider European public health community, we welcome the positive vote for Ursula von der Leyen as the new President-elect of the European Commission. The support of the European Parliament is a huge responsibility and a concrete set of actions are needed to regain citizens’ trust.
Achieving the strong coordination required for a coherent and robust health policy requires political leadership, drive and dedicated Commission resources to meet citizens’ expectations. We call on Ms von der Leyen to include a senior level health commissioner in her team, with a strong mandate, and to ensure that one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission has overall responsibility for mainstreaming health across the whole of the Commission. We have outlined the main responsibilities for such a role in our joint call.
“The new Commission needs to implement patients’ rights efficiently – this is why a specific face and voice needed within the Commission, to be an ambassador for all patients in Europe.” stressed Marco Greco, European Patients Forum (EPF) President.
“The election campaign is over, promises have been made, the time to deliver is now. Health is consistently prominent in the EU Eurobarometer citizens’ surveys. Will the new Commission listen and mainstream health in its next mandate?” stated Freek Spinnewijn, President of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).
“We are confident that the new President-elect with her academic credentials in medicine and public health as well as her previous experience in health and social policy will heed the desire of European people for the EU to engage more effectively in health and will ensure that health science will be reflected in the evidence-based European Commission policies.” said Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA)
“An unhealthy population will undermine the European future progress and economic and social development. A coherent, strategic and shared approach on common European health challenges can ensure that the national health systems are managed in a favourable environment.” said Prof. Federico Lega, President of the European Health Management Association (EHMA). “Subsidiarity and EU added value go hand in hand.” he added.
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) is a change agent – Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health. We are a dynamic member-led organisation, made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals, and disease groups working together to improve health and strengthen the voice of public health in Europe.
The European Patients’ Forum (EPF) is an umbrella organisation that works with patients’ groups in public health and health advocacy across Europe. Our members represent specific chronic disease groups at EU level or are national coalitions of patients.
The European Health Management Association (EHMA) is a Belgium based non-profit membership organisation that focuses on enhancing the capacity and capability of health management to deliver high quality healthcare. In doing so we strive to improve sustainability and effectiveness of health systems and services, and the well-being of Europe’s citizens and communities. Centred on a dynamic European health network of managers, educators, providers, researchers, citizens, innovators and policy makers, EHMA achieves its goals by making knowledge about evidence-based effective practice more accessible and by facilitating and supporting improvement, education and training.
TheEuropean Public Health Association, or EUPHA in short, is an umbrella organisation for public health associations in Europe. Our network of national associations of public health represents around 20’000 public health professionals. Our mission is to facilitate and activate a strong voice of the public health network by enhancing visibility of the evidence and by strengthening the capacity of public health professionals. EUPHA contributes to the preservation and improvement of public health in the European region through capacity and knowledge building. We are committed to creating a more inclusive Europe, narrowing all health inequalities among Europeans, by facilitating, activating, and disseminating strong evidence-based voices from the public health community and by strengthening the capacity of public health professionals to achieve evidence-based change.
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What our Members say
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.
Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy
Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.
Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria
I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.
Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta
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.
Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK
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.
Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary
As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.
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.
Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK
Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.
Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain