Health literacy

Thursday, 29.09.2016 | 12:00 - 13:30 | Hotel

Organised by Swiss Federal Office of Public Health in collaboration with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

This workshop aims to contribute to the improvement of health literacy in Europe by building on existing surveys and evidence and discussing their implications for implementation and for establishing inter-sectoral accountabilities.

We will address three objectives:
What do we know? Current state of the empirical evidence
What is the potential? In terms of health outcomes and system efficiency
What should be done? Key actions for the successful implementation of political initiatives

A clear understanding and assessment of information pertaining to one's own health is essential in order to make healthy choices and navigate the health system. However, many people seem to lack the necessary competencies. Strengthening health literacy is one way to improve health outcomes and system efficiency. We will:
1. Start with the results of the European Health Literacy Survey.
2. Put the survey data in country context to understand variations and discuss which population groups are most affected by poor health literacy.
3. Identify the most promising interventions and settings for improving health literacy.
4. Review what countries are doing to mobilise stakeholders.
5. Discuss how to establish accountabilities for health literacy.
6. Identify barriers and enablers.


Helmut Brand, President, International Forum Gastein


Gillian Rowlands, Professor for Public Health, Institute for Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark

Panel discussion

Monika Kosinska, WHO Regional Office for Europe

Pamela Rendi-Wagner, Head of Public Health and Medical Affairs Section, Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs, Austria

Kai Kolpatzik, AOK Federal Association, Germany

Salome von Greyerz, Deputy Head of Health Policy Directorate, Head of Health Strategies Division, Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland


Tania Dussey-Cavassini, Ambassador for Global Health, Vice-Director General, Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland


Matthias Wismar, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies


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