Strengthening health protection in times of economic crisis: strengthening the evidence base

This workshop, organized by the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) and the Observatory, aims to explore the role of evidence in strengthening and promoting public health in the context of the economic crisis.

The workshop will take place at the European Parliament, Room ASP A5E-2, on 21 February 2013, 14.30-17.00h.

The ongoing financial and economic crisis impacts on health in various ways. Not only does it affect the factors determining health but also the financial capacity for public policies to intervene and support population’s health and social well-being.

Within a context of austerity, it is all the more important that policy makers in health dispose of good information systems and effective policy instruments to anticipate and mitigate the negative health effects of the crisis. Next to documenting the importance of population’s health for economic recovery, evidence can also identify and help to explain determining factors for social vulnerability or resilience and support and guide policy makers in selecting and implementing the most effective policies to address these factors. Although the evidence base on the health impacts of economic downturn and what measures work best has significantly improved, there is still a need to better communicate and directly link to policy design and implementation.

These issues will be discussed in an interactive workshop that will not only include some of the leading researchers in this field, but also representatives of the European Commission and the WHO Regional Office for Europe.




Welcome and introduction

Amalia Sartori, MEP, Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy


Session 1: Exploring the evidence base: what do and don’t we know?

Better understanding the relationship between health, wealth and health systems in the context of the economic crisis

Josep Figueras, Director, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (Workshop facilitator)

Does the crisis make us sick? About the economic and social determinants of health

Aaron Reeves, Research Associate, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

Can prevention and promotion save us? Making the case for investing in public health and health promoting interventions in times of crisis

David McDaid, Research Fellow in Health Policy and Health Economics, LSE Health, London School of Economics and Political Science


Session 2: Drawing policy implications and preparing for the future

Improved quality, safety and containing healthcare costs: too good to be true?

Claudio Dario, Director General, Padua Teaching Hospital, Veneto Region, Italy

Innovating public health policy in times of crisis?

Hans Kluge, Director, Division of Health Systems and Public Health, WHO/Europe

The European Semester and health systems

Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for Health & Consumers, European Commission



Closing remarks

Antonio Correia de Campos, MEP, STOA Chairman

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