Securing affordable access to health care in times of crisis

Groundhog Day or Ready to Rumble?

Thursday, 28 September 2023 | 18:15-19:30 | Conference Centre

Organised by the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Financing

Many health systems in Europe already lack resilience to shocks, in part due to weaknesses in the design of coverage policy, and current financial pressures may push some to introduce new cuts to health benefits. Drawing on up to date evidence on financial protection in 40 countries in Europe, this session will explore the likely impact of shifting health care costs onto households. It will also offer practical guidance on how countries can avoid negative outcomes by moving away from two highly cyclical coverage policy features: basing entitlement to publicly financed health care on payment of health insurance contributions and applying user charges without effective mechanisms to protect people with low incomes or chronic conditions. Even countries in crisis – and with limited fiscal space – can take steps to improve affordable access to health care. In doing so they will make their health systems more resilient now – and for the future.

Download the session slides here.

Session Recording


  • Tamás Evetovits, Head, WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Financing
  • Sarah Thomson, Senior Health Financing Specialist, WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Financing
  • Stefan Eichwalder, Head of department for DRG and health economics, Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection
  • Maris Jesse, Health Expert and Consultant, Estonia
  • Katri Aaltonen, Postdoctoral Researcher (Academy of Finland), University of Turku, Finland

Moderated by

  • Charles Normand, Emeritus Professor of Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

EHFG News & Updates

EHFG Headquarters

EHFG Vienna Office

VAT No. ATU44155007 Bank Data:
IBAN AT 152040400200222240 
Bank Salzburger Sparkasse
Kurgartenstraße, 5630 Bad Hofgastein, Austria