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Public Health (04-10-2006)

Commission discusses forthcoming EU Health Strategy at the Health Forum Gastein

Today at the European Health Forum in Bad Hofgastein (Austria) the European Commission, represented by Health and Consumer Protection Director-General Robert Madelin, launched a debate on the forthcoming EU Health Strategy. The Strategy, due for adoption in mid 2007, will provide a comprehensive framework bringing together major EU health initiatives. It will set out overall objectives, priorities and milestones to guide European health policy for the years to come, and lay down guidelines on how to implement those objectives in practice. Building on the results of an open consultation carried out in 2004, it will identify priority areas where EU action can provide added value to action at national level. Today’s debate further highlighted some of those key issues: stakeholders want the EU to help bridge health inequalities across the EU and to take a much stronger role in global health. They also want the EU to provide a comprehensive approach to health that includes mainstreaming health concerns into all EU policies and that emphasises health promotion. The European Health Forum Gastein is a yearly congress bringing together participants from health policy, academia, non-governmental organisations and health-related industry from across Europe. The 9th Forum will run from the 4th to the 7th of October and focus on “health without borders”: health professionals from across the EU will address, inter alia, pandemic challenges, health policy innovation, EU health-care (in a session hosted by the European Commission), health professionals’ mobility, demographic change, improving health-care infrastructure and Health Technology Assessment.
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