10 July 2017, Bad Hofgastein, Austria – Today, the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) announces the programme for this year’s event, which will focus on the theme “Health in All Politics.” The forum will take place 4-6 October 2017 in Bad Hofgastein, Austria. This year’s meeting is set against a backdrop in which populism and “post-truth” politics are both on the rise, both within and beyond Europe. The EHFG will provide 600 politicians, senior decision-makers and interest group representatives with a platform to turn the otherwise technocratic concept of “Health in All Policies” into a political reality, while still ensuring that Europe does not lose sight of its values of universality, access to good quality care, equity and solidarity.
High-level speakers at EHFG 2017 include European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Austrian Minister of Health and Women’s Affairs, Pamela Rendi-Wagner; and Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director for Europe of the World Health Organization; as well as leading officials, such as Xavier Prats Monné, Director General of DG SANTE at the European Commission. More information about the sessions at this year’s EHFG is available in the programme (http://www.ehfg.org/fileadmin/downloads/03-conference/2017/ehfg2017_2pa.pdf).
Plenary sessions being held to mark the 20th anniversary of the forum will dive into the politics of health in the EU and in its Member States. They will also invite participants to explore what the future might hold, so as to improve health policy decision making today. With this in mind, the Presidency Trio of the Council of the Euro¬pean Union will be at the Forum to discuss the health priorities of the upcoming EU presidency programmes.
The numerous fora and workshops are organised along distinct tracks: Health in All Policies (HiAP), Health Systems, Access to Medicines, and Innovation, Big Data & ICT. The Health in All Policies track explores a number of exemplary areas – ranging from environment & health to the food chain – in which the concept of HiAP has guided decision-makers and advisors in the health policy field. The Health Systems track includes sessions that address the increasing pressure put on health systems within Europe and beyond and also explores paths forward with a view to making them more equitable, inclusive and sustainable. The Access to Medicines track will welcome different stakeholders from within the healthcare sector, providing them with an opportunity to interact on some of the most contested matters in the field. Prominent among these is the issue of pricing of medicines and how this relates to challenges such as ensuring access for patients and fostering further R&D for new treatment breakthroughs in the future. Sessions will also reflect on areas of market failure – most notably paediatric drugs, orphan drugs and vaccines. Lastly, the Innovation track will include sessions exploring the rapidly evolving areas of Big Data (this being a prime example of an area in which Health in All Politics seems within reach), personalised medicine and the future of cancer care.
Note to the editors
The 20th European Health Forum Gastein “Health in All Politics – a better future for Europe” will take place 4-6 October 2017, in Bad Hofgastein, Austria. Members of the media are invited to register for accreditation via the online form (http://www.ehfg.org/mycongress/users/login). If you are interested in finding out more or featuring the EHFG in your editorial calendar, please contact the press office at firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 2 321 90 16.
About European Health Forum Gastein
The European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) was founded in 1998 as a European health policy conference. It aims to provide a platform for all stakeholders from the fields of public health and healthcare, and beyond. Over the past decade, the EHFG has established itself as an indispensable institution in the scope of European health policy. It has made a decisive contribution to the development of guidelines and above all the cross-border exchange of experience, information and cooperation. Leading experts participate in the annual conference held in the Gastein Valley in the Austrian Alps for three days in October.