Democracy and health at the crossroads of Europe's future

Wednesday, 25 September 2024 | 14:30-15:45 | Kursaal

Organised by the European Health Forum Gastein

2024 marks the biggest election year so far in human history, with over 50% of the global population called to the polls. As election results have already shown, populist and autocratic ideas are on the rise, fuelled by a crisis of trust and a creeping disillusionment with the status quo amongst voters: a failure to deliver on promises of addressing key issues from the climate crisis to inequality, conflict, migration, and secure employment. When it comes to health and healthcare systems, democratic institutions and actors often seem to be sleepwalking rather than offering innovative solutions to the critical challenges of overstretched systems and health workforce attrition. And in the meantime, health is being hijacked by commercial interests that prioritise the profits of a few over the health and well-being of many. This plenary will examine different facets of the relationship between democracy and health, exploring why there is growing mistrust in our political institutions vis a vis health systems, and what can be done to restore the balance.



  • Hans Henri P. Kluge, Regional Director for Europe, World Health Organization
  • Johannes Rauch, Federal Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, Austria

Further speakers to be announced

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