Health 2020 celebration in Denmark

Sund By Netværket

From left: Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, Astrid Krag, Minister for Health and Prevention of Denmark, and Ninna Thomsen, Mayor of Health and Social Services in Copenhagen took part in the launch of Health 2020 in Denmark

On 31 October 2012, Astrid Krag, Minister for Health and Prevention of Denmark, Ninna Thomsen, Mayor of Health and Care in Copenhagen, and Tove Auda, from Bispebjerg Council, together with Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, celebrated the launch of Health 2020, the new European policy for health and well-being, at an event organized by the Danish Healthy Cities Network and Copenhagen City Council.

With representatives from different levels of government, active partners and a lively dance display, the event underlined how important action by many at different levels of government is to provide access to healthy choices and ensure that health inequalities are reduced and all citizens achieve their health potential.

Zsuzsanna Jakab explained that Health 2020 builds on the recognition that “in this interconnected world we are not passive players –we understand the causes behind the ill health of our people and we can actively strive for health, well-being and prosperity…(and)… our individual actions can be greatly amplified by collective action”.

Noting the difference in life expectancy in different parts of Copenhagen, and that providing the same rights to health is not enough – everyone needs the same real opportunities for a healthy life, Astrid Krag, Minister for Health and Prevention of Denmark recognized the need for a whole-of-society approach to health. She outlined her government’s enhanced, proactive prevention policy, which cuts across ministries, departments, sectors and authorities, as well involving all the other players who can contribute to wider health issues: associations, interest groups, businesses and voluntary organizations.

“I would like to see that we in Denmark have concrete goals on many more living smoke free in the next ten years, that our young people have better alcohol habits, that physical activity and movement are a natural part of more people’s daily life, and that mental health and well-being are assured at work, in school and day-to-day,” she concluded.