High-level Steering Group launches a European White Paper recommending actions for more sustainable healthcare systems.


The European Steering Group (ESG) for Sustainable Healthcare supported by AbbVie and chaired by Former Health Minister of Ireland, Mary Harney- published a pan-European White Paper Acting Together Roadmap for Sustainable Healthcare at a high-level conference in Brussels on 19 March. Based on evidence and initiatives from more than 20 European countries and setting out 18 recommendations targeted at EU and national decision-makers stakeholders to increase the sustainability of European healthcare systems, the White Paper emphasises that all players in the healthcare sector must act together now, before it is too late.

The 18 recommendations put forward by the ESG touch on three main themes, namely prevention & early intervention, fostering the empowered and responsible citizen, and reorganisation of care delivery and include calls for:

  • A stronger focus on prevention in health investments by including a EU target for transitioning investment from treatment to prevention and early intervention;
  • Aligned monitoring of health trends and data collection;
  • New data protection rules and regulations at EU level to enable appropriate use of data to inform health intervention strategy, while ensuring that patient privacy is protected;
  • Stronger engagement of employers and health professionals in the field of occupational health;
  • Tackling of health illiteracy;
  • Embracing new technologies to support transformation of healthcare.

"The ESG Roadmap only points to the start of a journey towards sustainable healthcare. The status quo is not an option if we want to continue to provide high quality, accessible and affordable care for European citizens. Transforming healthcare is complex and cannot happen quickly or in isolation. I hope that the many stakeholders involved will join us in this collaborative effort", concluded Mary Harney, Chair of the Steering Group and former Health Minister of Ireland.

The European Steering Group (ESG) established in 2014 and initiated by AbbVie brings together representatives from the policy environment and civil society, healthcare professionals and scientific societies, academics, and industry. The ESG has worked for over one year to gather data, evidence and test initiatives from more than 20 European countries to develop solutions to promote sustainable healthcare.
As a global biopharmaceutical company with strong presence across Europe, AbbVie is committed to finding healthcare sustainability solutions in the EU that can help both patients and healthcare systems adapt to the challenges of the modern world, . said Dr. Pascale Richetta, Member of the ESG and Vice President Western Europe & Canada, AbbVie.

Through our involvement in the European Steering Group for Sustainable Healthcare, we are working with civil society, healthcare professionals, scientific societies, academics, and industry to help address the challenges posed to European healthcare systems. We need to transform our healthcare systems and ensure they are fit to address societal and economic challenges. This is why we must act together. No-one can do it alone , Dr. Pascale Richetta continued.

The ESG hopes that policy-makers at the European and national levels, as well as all relevant stakeholders from the public and private sectors, will be inspired to help implement these recommendations and lift the concept of sustainable healthcare off the page and into reality.

The White Paper and call to action were published at an event in Brussels on 19 March and can be found here:

More information about the event, photos, speaker presentations and a conference report will be uploaded on the event website shortly.

Preventive health services, active and healthy ageing, public health information, public health, health literacy
Related action groups: 
A1 Adherence to prescription, A2 Falls prevention, A3 Lifespan Health Promotion & Prevention of Age Related Frailty and Disease, C2 Independent living solutions, D4 Age friendly environments
Relevance to partnership: 
Prevention, screening and early diagnosis, Active ageing and independent living, Horizontal issues and framework conditions