Interview with Ananda Plate

Ananda Plate, Operations Manager, Myeloma Patients Europe (Belgium)


After the 18th European Health Forum Gastein, I caught up with Ananda Plate from Myeloma Patients Europe. Ms. Plate had contributed to the 2 October workshop on Equity and Solidarity in EU Healthcare Systems, with a focus on how to improve patient access to innovative cancer care in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

What do Equity and Solidarity mean in terms of patient access to innovation?

‘Equity and solidarity’ are about using our limited resources as best we can, to ensure that no patient is left behind. Too often, discussions about access to innovative treatments become bogged down in a debate about pricing. As important as pricing is, there are other important dimensions. Up to 85% of clinical research required for innovative drugs is not strictly speaking necessary, and this contributes to the long delays – 10 years, on average – between drugs being developed and actually becoming available to the patient. This is unacceptable. There are many things that could be done to make research more efficient, for example, by addressing the questions which are relevant to patients and clinicians from the very beginning, by producing solid evidence base to be successful at marketing authorization/reimbursement stage, by publishing also negative results, etc. Weiterlesen

Interview with Nina Renshaw

Nina Renshaw – Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance


What is health in all policies? What would success look like?

It would be a world away from where we are now! The EU would have an agricultural policy that promotes healthy nutrition and doesn’t subsidise unhealthy processed food; we would have a regime that favours production and consumption of healthy commodities – vegetables, fresh fruit, pulses – rather than sugar, hops, wine. We want to see public health as a strategic goal running through all mainstream policies. At the moment, sustainable development, climate and the environment are all core considerations across broad policy development. Health is of course part of all of these things, but it needs to be a pillar in itself. Currently, it is nowhere to be seen. Weiterlesen

Main theme EHFG 2016 announced!

We are happy to officially announce the main theme for the 19th European Health Forum Gastein:

Demographics and Diversity in Europe – New Solutions for Health
28th-30th September 2016, Bad Hofgastein, Austria


It is no news that life expectancy at birth keeps increasing – on average by three to four months each year in OECD countries! – and that fertiliy rates have experienced a more or less steady downward trend in EU Member States over the past decades. This, coupled with a variety of other phenomena of demographic change like internal and external migration and ensuing greater societal diversity, means that European health systems have to adapt to new contexts.

Questions related to intergenerational responsibilities, of how to satisfy and finance increasing demand for care, of how to address cultural differences in the perception of health and ensure and safeguard equitable access to healthcare are on the table.

We thus invite you to join us at the EHFG 2016, to discuss these and other issues and prepare the way for the innovations needed to turn the challenges into opportunities for sustainable solutions. By proactively considering possible pitfalls and highlighting its often neglected potential we can influence the (health) outcome of demographic change.



YFG Get Together with European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Team

On Thursday 14 January, a delegation of the Young Forum Gastein was warmly welcomed by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies’ secretariat in Brussels. The Observatory (OBS) is well known for promoting evidence-based health policy-making through rigorous analysis of health systems in Europe: playing Cupid, OBS brings researchers and policy makers together –as witnessed by the picture below!- and facilitate dialogues to help creating a common understanding in health policy.

Josep Figueras







Director Josep Figueras explaining the OBS

The essence of this intelligence gathering is to provide evidence for informed health policy making with options adapted to the different context and challenges faced by different countries. A recent example of OBS’s innovative work in the country monitoring area is their ‘health systems and policy monitor’, a cutting-edge online platform, gathering information by country (28 countries currently covered) and providing intelligence on health systems developments and reforms in Europe and beyond. The Young Gasteiners are welcome to raise awareness on this initiative and provide constructive feedback on how to develop its wider use.


Interview with Martin McKee

Martin McKee, Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Martin McKee – MM, Viktorija Andreikenaite – VA, Ondrej Fiala – OF


VA: What resources of data are available? Is there any official collaboration between research institutions and companies like Google, Facebook?

MM: Google is certainly very interested in ways that they can make more use of their data. But the number of big companies is being much more cautious now, after the example of the Facebook experiment whenever they change the mood settings and the experiment that changes what people were looking at without any informed consent. That was criticized to some extent. There is almost infinite number of resources of data. We obviously have what people are looking at online, we have what people are engaging within social media, but we also have where they go, tracking in with their mobile phones, tracking with facial recognition software. There are so many different sources that can be linked in together: loyalty cards, credit card purchases. In fact, putting all of that together, you can be really looking at a very detailed profile of people. That brings to a tremendously responsibility as well. It also can be very overwhelming. And I think the challenge will be how we actually make use of this in a meaningful way, without being drown of with the data. Weiterlesen