Today, the Commission published a report by the EU Expert Group on Health Systems Performance Assessment (HSPA) titled "Assessing the resilience of health systems in Europe: an overview of the theory, current practice and strategies for improvement”.
Over the past decade, a series of technical failings in tackling major health shocks have prompted health policymakers to devise the notion of health system resilience. However, a lack of clarity on the exact scope and usability of the concept has curbed attempts by researchers to define prospective measurement and assessment methods for this ‘novel’ dimension of health system performance.
As European countries continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and begin setting up strategies for health system strengthening post-COVID, never has it been more urgent to step up efforts to resolve these methodological hurdles. The objective of the report is to support ongoing efforts aimed at defining more advanced methods to assess the resilience capacity of health systems.
The report includes:
- a theoretical overview of the concept of resilience applied to health systems;
- a synthesis of European countries’ experiences with assessing health system resilience, and
- an analysis of resilience-enhancing strategies and related dimensions for assessment.
Based on these three elements, report presents a number of options that European countries can consider in the short term to improve the quality of their prospective assessment methods for health system resilience.
EU Expert Group on Health Systems Performance Assessment
Following the adoption of conclusions “Towards modern, responsive and sustainable health systems” by the Council of the European Union, in 2014 the Council Working Party on Public Health at Senior Level (WPPHSL) invited Member States and the Commission to set up an Expert Group on Health Systems Performance Assessment (HSPA).
The membership of the Expert Group is comprised of representatives from EU Member States plus Norway, the European Commission, the OECD, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. The Expert Group is co-chaired by a Member State periodically elected by other Member States’ representatives, and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE).
After having examined the array of tools and methodologies to assess quality of care, integrated care, primary care and efficiency of care, in 2019/2020 the Expert Group focused on identifying tools and methods to assess health systems resilience.
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