European Observatory Summer School 2016 in Venice “Primary care: innovating for integrated, more effective care”

Every year, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies ( organises a Summer School in the beautiful venue of Venice. This years’ event focused on “primary health care” and gathered a diverse range of participants with all kinds of professional backgrounds and from all parts of Europe. We were glad for the opportunity to enjoy tickets supported by the Young Forum Gastein and experienced an AMAZING week.

This summer school really broadened our horizon concerning primary health care in different European countries, it deepened our knowledge concerning integrated and more effective primary health care and it provided us with new thoughts and ideas for strengthening primary health care. These experiences will be of great use in our future work within our own country of Austria. Some of the main topics that were covered during this week: Weiterlesen

Capturing change: Towards better health information systems in Europe (W6)

As one of the last sessions of the EHFG, the WHO Regional office for Europe hosted the “Capturing change” workshop, in which some of the main challenges of collecting quality health information were presented, as well as actions that are being taken to address them.

Christopher Fearne, Caroline Costongs, Anna Korotkova, Claudia Stein, Niek Klazinga

Christopher Fearne, Caroline Costongs, Anna Korotkova, Claudia Stein, Niek Klazinga

At the beginning of the session, Claudia Stein, Director of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, emphasized that there is currently a gap between scientific evidence on one side and health policy on the other side. In order to bridge this gap, more and better health information is needed for evidence-based policy making. There are several challenges the WHO is facing right now, as they are the institution with the core mandate to monitor health status internationally: health information in Europe is fragmented and expertise scattered; member states’ information is often incomplete, not harmonized with international standards, and the reporting systems are not integrated – in general Europe is lacking integrated health information system. Additionally, the networks that exist are often created ad-hoc and based on personal relationships only. Weiterlesen

Reality meets Reality (F9 II)

Solutions and opportunities to address changing needs in the digital era.

Demographic changes and new solutions to address them are at the core of the European Health Forum Gastein this year. Health systems have to be more efficient and innovative ways to deal with those problems need to be developed. Also during the “Reality meets Reality” (II) session organised by DG CONNECT these topics were put on the table and opportunities were identified.


Esteban De Manuel

The first part of the session focused on integration of care and the opportunities that it can bring. In the quest of addressing the needs of rapidly ageing populations, integrated care facilitated by ICT could play a major role by applying integrated care coordination, patient empowerment, and home support pathways. Esteban De Manuel Keenoy, Clinical Director of the Carewell Project, showed that integrated care can reduce emergency admission with up to 2% and can therefore have a significant impact on budgets. I think these are promising results since sustainability of healthcare systems are one of the major challenges we need to overcome. Integration of care also means better interoperability and overcoming silo mentalities between patients, informal carers and health professionals. Working across organisational silos allows for a broad approach to care where the patient is at the centre. In this perspective integrated care is not only cheaper but also more effective. Weiterlesen

EU Action on Pancreas Cancer: a role model for? (W8)

It is the last day at European Health Forum Gastein and it is one of the last sessions to go before the conclusion dinner. But the topic to discuss in the workshop on EU Action on pancreatic cancer, which has been organized by the EU COST Action EUPancreas, is certainly not a subordinated one. Pancreatic cancer –so far regarded as a rare disease, increasing incidence rates indicate a tendency towards a more common disease. This is striking, as for cancer in general the opposite is true and due to prevention and well-developed therapy regimes, many cancers have decreasing incidence rates. Thus, against the background of its complex pathogenesis, failures in primary prevention, its silent progression and the high mortality rates, there is an urgent need for action on pancreatic cancer. Weiterlesen