Health (dis)investment Working group meeting

21 March 2018 - 12:30 - 14:00
José Asua, Francesca Colombo, Patrick Jeurissen, Martin Seychell

Friends of Europe is launching a reflection process on health (dis-)investment in Europe. A diverse group of stakeholders will be convened for roundtables to discuss the complementary issues of smarter investment for better health and disinvestment in health interventions that are ineffective, inefficient and outdated. These discussions will culminate in a publication summarising the highlights of each roundtable and commentary through opinion pieces from leading players in innovation for health.

This work is a follow-up on the results of a previous Friends of Europe Working Group on Health that generated recommendations for the 2014-2019 European Commission and European Parliament mandate. 21 recommendations on what the EU should start or stop doing, or do differently, were agreed on among the key health stakeholders that composed the group. A key focus of this work was to identify and highlight the need to stop doing things that are inefficient or ineffective. The proposed new series on health (dis-)investment follows directly from this recommendation.

This event is part of Friends of Europe’s Health and Wellbeing programme, which focuses on how the obstacles of vested interests and short-term political thinking can be overcome in the difficult transition to new healthcare models and systems – and how these new systems can be financed.

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12.00 - 12.30

Networking lunch & registration

12.30 - 14.00

Smart investment for better outcomes

The 2008 Tallinn Charter on Health Systems for Health and Wealth confirmed that investments in health are investments in human development and growth. But since then, governments have struggled to maintain levels of spending for health in the light of growing demand and a prolonged economic crisis. Updating the infrastructure and integrating new technology will be expensive initially, but should generate efficiencies and long-term savings. Another big change that is needed is to move away from reimbursing transactions such as medical consultations and interventions and towards rewarding maintenance of good health through incentives within the system.

  • Where should scarce health resources be invested in order to get the best value?
  • How can all players in healthcare be rewarded for better health outcomes?
  • Given the complexity and fragmentation of healthcare, do investments in digital technology make financial sense for public authorities?

The event will bring together a select group of some 40 high-level stakeholders from across Europe, including EU and national policymakers, senior officials from international organisations, business representatives, NGO leaders, experts from the academic world.

It is the first of a series of two working group meetings. The second session will focus on “A strategy for health disinvestment” and the series will culminate with a presentation of the outcomes at the Global Health Forum in Gastein.

Speakers include:
José Asua Batarrita, Director for Health Technology Assessment at the Basque Ministry of Health
Francesca Colombo, Head of the OECD Health Division
Patrick Jeurissen, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and Director of the Celsus Academy on Fiscally Sustainable Healthcare at the Radboud University, the Netherlands
Martin Seychell, European Commission Deputy Director-General for Health and Food Safety

Moderated by    
Tamsin Rose, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe 


End of working group meeting

José Asua
Director, Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment (OSTEBA) at the Basque Ministry of Health, Spain
With nearly 30 years of experience within the Basque Ministry of Health, José Asua has a deep understanding of regional public health systems. He works to provide information and advice to the Ministry on the efficacy, effectiveness and accessibility of different existing and future health technologies based on systematic reviews and cost analyses. A specialist in preventive medicine and public health, Asua’s previous roles include working as a general practitioner; chairing the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA); as well as participating in several international projects on health across the EU. 
Francesca Colombo
Head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Health Division
Francesca Colombo is responsible for OECD’s work on health, which aims at providing internationally comparable data on health systems and applying economic analysis to health policies, advising citizens, stakeholders and policymakers on how to respond to demands for more and better healthcare. Colombo supports the strategic orientations of the Secretary-General and their implementation in the area of health. She had led numerous projects on the performance of health systems in OECD countries, covering a wide range of topics, including quality of health care policies and health financing. 
Patrick Jeurissen
Chief Scientist Advisor of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports
A professor in fiscal sustainable health care systems and Director of the Celsus Academy at Radboud University Medical School, Patrick Jeurissen is an expert on the design and implementation of policies addressing finance, sustainability and affordability in healthcare. He advises the Dutch Ministry of Health on reforms in order to receive more affordable care for citizens, focusing on the relationship between cost and quality of healthcare. Jeurissen is also a member of the Health Steering Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and has (co-)authored some 75 international publications on health related issues. 
Martin Seychell
European Commission Deputy Director-General for Health and Food Safety
An expert in chemistry and pharmaceutical technology, Martin Seychell has held important positions in several government boards and commissions in Malta, including the post of Director of Environment as well as Advisor to the Prime Minister.  He was in charge of implementing a number of EU directives in the areas of risk assessment, food safety and chemicals legislation. Within his current role as European Commission Deputy Director-General at DG Santé, Seychell spearheads the directorates dealing with Consumer affairs, Public health and Health systems and products, including the performance of national health systems, country knowledge and EU health programmes.

Celgene      Edwards Lifesciences




Sarah Bentz, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 23

This meeting is by invitation only. For more information, please contact Sarah Bentz, Programme Manager at Friends of Europe.
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