Minister for Health Astrid Krag will be hosting an informal meeting between the European Ministers for Health in Horsens on 23-24 April 2012. The central themes of the meeting are innovation in health care and patient empowerment.
As part of the Danish presidency of the Council of the European Union, Minister for Health Astrid Krag has invited her European colleagues to an informal meeting on 23-24 April 2012 in Horsens. John Dalli, the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, and Zsuzsanna Jakab, Director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, will also be attending the meeting, which is a part of the informal meeting of Ministers for Employment, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO).
The meeting will revolve around two central themes:
Under the headline “Smart Health – Better Lives: Moving Innovation ahead in Europe” the Ministers for Health will discuss how to improve the framework for innovation in health care. The health care system continues to be one of the largest financial challenges for the European countries while at the same time being one of the most important catalysts for innovation in Europe. It is necessary to strengthen innovation in health care if the European countries are to emerge successfully in the face of both the current financial crisis and common demographic challenges while simultaneously safeguarding high quality health care systems.
Chronic disease is one of the largest health care challenges in Europe as more and more citizens live longer with one or more chronic diseases. “Patient Empowerment” is the second theme for the meeting and focuses on giving people with chronic diseases the opportunity to actively part in the management of their disease. It must be possible to live a good and active life even when having a chronic disease.
From the perspective of the recent issues with the PIP breast implants and metal-on-metal hip replacements the ministers will also discuss ways to avoid similar issues in the future and to strengthen patient safety in the field of implants and other high risk medical devices.
Minister for Health Astrid Krag states:
“The two themes for the ministerial meeting are of great importance for all the Ministers of Health and for the future of our health care systems. I look forward to the discussions with my European colleagues and I expect us to find mutual inspiration and new ways for action in our health care systems.
Many perceive innovation as a kind of luxury. It is not. Innovation is a necessity in health care, and no needless obstacles should stand in the way of working smarter, not harder, in our health care systems.
I am confident that we will agree on a strengthened future collaboration and knowledge sharing, as the individual European countries should not all be forced to start from scratch. We also need to set the direction for the future EU legislation.
And finally, I am also confident that we agree to the importance of patient empowerment as an element in future European initiatives on chronic diseases. As a starting point, patient empowerment will be a key component in the ongoing European Reflection Process aiming to identify options to optimize the response to the challenges of chronic diseases."
Andreas Boe Sjøholm, Press officer, Ministry of Health
Tel: +45 50 96 50 69, email: firstname.lastname@example.org