Can people afford to pay for healthcare?

New evidence on financial protection in Europe

Thursday, 3 October 2019 | 16.00-18.30 | Conference Centre Room 2

Organised by WHO Regional Office for Europe

Financial protection, achieved when out-of-pocket payments for health services do not expose people to financial hardship, is at the core of universal health coverage. Policy around copayments plays a large role, as new evidence from WHO shows that copayments often lead to financial hardship for households – but some aspects of copayment policy design are more harmful than others.

Complex, unfair, ineffective and bureaucratic copayments can be transformed to reduce financial hardship and unmet need for prescribed medicines, and this session will explore how. We will hear a summary of select results from WHO's new analysis of financial protection, discuss reforms in European countries that have transformed copayment policy to protect people and serve health system goals, and together explore how obstacles to fair copayment policy and financial protection can be overcome in the future.

Photo Gallery

Speakers & panellists


JONATHAN CYLUS, Economist and London Hub Coordinator, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

STEFAN EICHWALDER, Cabinet of the Minister, Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, Austria

TAMÁS EVETOVITS, Head of the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening, WHO Regional Office for Europe

TRIIN HABICHT, WHO consultant & former Head of the Department of Health System Development, Ministry of Social Affairs, Estonia

MARTIN SEYCHELL, Deputy Director-General, European Commission Directorate-General for Health and

Food Safety (DG SANTE)

SARAH THOMSON, Senior Health Financing Specialist, WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening, WHO Regional Office for Europe

KAISA IMMONEN, Director of Policy, European Patients' Forum (EPF)


CHARLES NORMAND, Professor of Economics of Palliative Care & Rehabilitation, King’s College London & Emeritus Professor, Trinity College, University of Dublin

Available Biographical Information

NameCylus, Jonathan
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NameEichwalder, Stefan
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NameEvetovits, Tamás
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NameHabicht, Triin
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NameSeychell, Martin
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NameThomson, Sarah
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NameImmonen, Kaisa
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NameNormand, Charles
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