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Conference has shown that together we can build more resilient health systems better and faster

Met dank overgenomen van Sloveens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2021, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 16 juli 2021, 8:00.

The Ministry of Health hosted a conference on finding and implementing innovative solutions for resilient health systems featuring a number of high-level foreign guests.

Building the resilience of health systems is one of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. Member states presented examples of successful implementation of innovative solutions in health systems in Europe and the strategic use of EU funds through existing mechanisms.

European health systems have been facing extreme pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year; the extreme conditions caused by the pandemic, however, have also created opportunities for innovation and greater flexibility in health systems. Bridging this gap is central to achieving high-quality and affordable healthcare for everyone, which is why Slovenia addressed the latter topic at the central event in the field of health.

On 15 and 16 July 2021, the Ministry of Health organised a high-level conference entitled “Implementing innovative solutions for resilient health systems”, which took place in a hybrid format at Ljubljana Castle. On this occasion, Ljubljana was visited by some representatives of foreign ministries of health and the European Commission, as well as high-level guests such as German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, and the Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, Hans Kluge.

On the first day, the conference was opened by the Minister of Health, Janez Poklukar, and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, who welcomed the participants and emphasised the importance of discussions and the sharing of experiences and knowledge between member states. The conference presented some good practices as regards implementing and investing in innovation in health systems in Finland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Among other things, Slovenia presented a successful model of health promotion centres.

Slovenia has many success stories about cooperation within the EU. During the last Presidency, we helped to set up the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer. European efforts in the field of cancer have shown the importance of cooperation in dealing with key health challenges.

Janez Poklukar Minister of Health

Janez Poklukar Minister of Health

Key European projects that enable more cooperation between the countries were also presented, and a joint action in the field of cancer, which is a priority area during this Presidency, was highlighted. Conference participants continued discussions on resilient health systems at a dinner at Jable Castle hosted by Minister Poklukar.

The Minister of Public Administration, Boštjan Koritnik, and the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, opened the last day of the conference, which focused on reviewing new opportunities for stronger health systems in the light of new European support mechanisms. The round table of health ministers from Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, Italy and Slovenia addressed the topic of how to make investments in health systems more strategic and efficient. The ministers concluded that it could be ensured in practice that individual member states make the best use of existing instruments in one place. A platform for cooperation between several member states on specific common priorities could also be set up, with the active support of the Commission. Support mechanisms should be available at a scale and speed commensurate with the real political and substantive priorities of health systems.

Former Italian Prime Minister and former European Commissioner Mario Monti stressed the importance of integrating different mechanisms and the importance of cross-sectoral integration in ensuring sustainable healthcare systems and better European cooperation to build a stronger European Health Union. He also presented a plan for addressing health in high-level forums, such as the G20, in the future. The conference was closed by Janez Poklukar, who summed up the key messages of the two days, which will be the basis for the EU Council Conclusions at the December meeting of health ministers at the end of the Slovenian Presidency.

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