“Health literacy is everyone’s responsibility and we all have a role to play”Interview with Ms. Kaisa Immonen, Director of Policy at European Patients’ Forum
MU: One of the topics that has been discussed in the workshop on health literacy was related to Internet search for health-related information. As it has been highlighted, this can lead to information overload for people who might not be able to filter. What are your opinions on this issue and how can it be better managed for the benefit of all those involved? Continue reading
FC: So, it seems that the panel discussion was very intense. How did you find the debate and the choice of the panellists in general?
AS: It was very positive that voices from civil society, which are openly critical of the predominant market-driven R&D system, were on the panel with other stakeholders. If we want to address the problem of high-priced medicines, we need to address the elephant in the room and talk about tensions that arise between the current intellectual property system and affordable access to medicines.
FC: When we are talking about Intellectual Property, it seems that pharmaceutical companies and civil society organizations speak two completely different languages: where does the truth stand? Continue reading
Dr. Ricardo Baptista Leite is a Medical Doctor and Member of the Portuguese Parliament, where he sits on the Health Committee and on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Q: How can we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] and what contribution can cities deliver in regard to climate change?
LBL: In my city, Cacaes, we started to adapt the global indicators to the local level, and in that sense, we are advanced. The SDGs are a great baseline that show where we should be, but we have to be ambitious and go way beyond, but especially in the developed world. They should rather be perceived as the minimums we have to achieve. Climate change is no different to this: if we go down to the specifics, there are always angles that could and should be improved, lowering our carbon footprint. This influences multiple determinants. The SDGs give us a holistic approach, and we can use this great tool for society, as well as for the individuals, while leaving no one behind.
When this assessment is made wholeheartedly, we can push the public, the private and the social in the same direction. Continue reading
JP: Does being in the NGO sector or in another health sector besides the Academia improve your career in Global Health?
MT: I think it is actually important to be one of these other actors, because Global Health, as we said, nowadays requires diplomacy: you cannot do without the other actors, as they play an important role, the NGOs included. NGOs have a mandate which governments cannot address, and even though in the health sector the governments are the negotiators, they also rely on information obtained from other actors, which is an entry point for the NGOs. This is how they influence the agenda, but it is important that it’s done wisely and appropriately.
If one came in with an ideological mindset, it might not work as much as the appropriate language would. On the other hand, good advocacy NGO experts can go as far as to suggest a language that is being used while negotiating. Additionally, the material provided by the NGOs to the member states could represent a lot of help, because the member states have a lot to prepare as they have so many agendas. Continue reading
After listening to the high-level experts’ opinions in Closing Plenary carefully, some Young Gasteiners were eager to experience more about European and Global health politics and had a great chance to interview Prof. Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Centre and adjunct professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
MARIUS: In your speech at the closing plenary, you detailed what Germany has done to position itself as a leader in global health and shared valuable insight on inter-ministerial collaboration, in particular. What do you consider to be some lessons that Germany has learned in this process that can be taken up by other Member States? Continue reading