Sustainable Health Systems for Inclusive Growth in Europe

Health Forum Lithuania

The Lithuanian Presidency hosted a Health Systems Conference “Sustainable Health Systems for Inclusive Growth in Europe”, 19-20 November 2013.

During the first Day of the Conference, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Observatory launched the publication “Health and Health Systems in the economic crisis: policy responses” which contains the latest evidence on the impact of the economic crisis on health and health systems performance and the policy responses taken by the Member States in Europe. This work was developed around the WHO High Level Meeting held in Oslo, generously hosted by the Norwegian Directorate of Health, 17-18 April 2013 which resulted in 10 WHO Policy lessons/ recommendations adopted by the Regional Committee in Cesme, Izmir, Turkey, September 2013. 

Austerity cuts have put Europe’s healthcare systems under severe pressure, increasing health inequalities and threatening sustainability in the future. The Minister of Health of Lithuania urgently call for action for immediate moves to protect Europe’s healthcare systems to the European governments and the European Union to prevent further damage.

The Vilnius Declaration, agreed at a high level health event of the Lithuanian Presidency, sets out three broad action points to be presented to the Council of Health Ministers to inform their debate when they meet in December.

The aim is to ensure European health systems are people-centred, sustainable and inclusive – and that they deliver good health for all. To achieve this it is necessary to:

  1. Increase investment in health promotion and disease prevention
  2. Ensure universal access to high-quality, people-centred health services
  3. Ensure that health system reforms – including workforce planning – are evidence-based and focus on cost-effectiveness, sustainability and good governance.