Facing multimorbidity: Challenges and responses

Thursday, 01.10.2015 | 09:00 - 12:00

Organised by International Forum Gastein supported by an unrestricted educational grant from MSD

Session 2

The objective of this forum is to present and discuss the latest research on how our health systems can address the challenge of multimorbidity, in particular looking at improved patient centeredness and improved health outcomes.

The challenge posed by the rise in prevalence of chronic disease is made even greater by the fact that patients are and will increasingly be suffering from not just one, but several chronic diseases. With the ageing of our population, comorbidities are expected to further rise.

Caring for patients with multimorbidities is particularly resource intensive and is made more difficult as health services usually deal separately with chronic diseases like arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes, mental conditions (Alzheimer, depression) and viral diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. As a result, this patient group absorbs a considerable part of public budgets for healthcare, social care, long-term care and various community services.

We will discuss: concrete examples and case studies from countries; the epidemilogy and economics of multimorbidity; measuring health system performance vis-a-vis multimorbidity; implementing selfmanagement; poly-pharmacy; and optimised care pathways.

This is is the third installment of a series of EHFG sessions on health system performance.

Part 3 | Addressing multimorbidity to improve sustainability

Multimorbidity raises many questions, both ethical and economical. Addressing multimorbidity effectively may require additional investment in health and social systems. In this session we will discuss the case for greater investment to address multimorbidity. Is care targeting multimorbidity necessarily more expensive? Have simple co-morbidities other cost implications than complex co-morbidities? What is the role of prevention for older citizens?


Francesca Colombo, Head of Health Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Manuel García-Goñi, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Christoph Schwierz, DG Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission


Boris Azaïs, Director Public Policy Europe and Canada, MSD

Mattthias Wismar, Senior Health Policy Analyst, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Part 4 | … and how do we make it work for the patient?

There are many perfect models and best practices to refer to, yet future healthcare will be defined around the patient experience, which is unique and not defined by the number of diseases. In this last session, we will broaden our discussion to look at the patient experience across Europe. Can we measure gaps and barriers to patient access? What is the current level of satisfaction among European patients with their healthcare? Is multimorbidity a compounding factor in existing challenges? Are there innovative solutions that can improve the patient experience and reduce inequities in access to quality healthcare in the EU?


Bert Aben, GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe)

Stanimir Hasurdjiev, Member of the Board, European Patients' Forum

Karin Kadenbach, Member of the European Parliament (S&D, Austria)

Luís Mendão, Vice-chair, European AIDS Treatment Group

Wolfram Nolte, EuropaColon, Germany

Partnership for Access to Health

Partners in the Partnership for Access to Health representing patients, doctors, industry, policy-makers such as CPME, EFPIA, EGA, EPF, Members of the European Parliament from the Interest Group on Access to healthcare will also participate in and contribute to the discussion.


John Bowis, Special Advisor for Health and Environmental Policy, Former MEP

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