Health literacy is more than smashing the glass wall between patients and health professionals

Kristine Sørensen, Founder of the Global Health Literacy Academy, presented her latest study during the EHFG 2019 session “Mind the citizen – how health literacy can disrupt cancer care”, organised by the Health Literacy Coalition. Focusing her research in Europe, Kristine analysed 31 national cancer control plans – only five had included health literacy as a priority.

Having a strong interest in her work at the Global Health Literacy Academy we wanted to learn more about the disruptive power of health literacy and its potential to improve health equity and social inclusion.

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Can people afford to pay for healthcare?

During the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) 2019 session “Can people afford to pay for healthcare? New evidence on financial protection in Europe”, Tamás Evetovits, Head of the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening, presented findings from the recent WHO Europe report he co-authored with Sarah Thomson (WHO Europe) and Jonathan Cylus (European Observatory).

After the session, Young Gasteiners Stefano Guicciardi and Gary L. O’Brien discussed with Tamás the critical issue of financial protection, which is achieved when out-of-pocket (OOP) payments for health services do not expose people to financial hardship.

Tamás Evetovits at the EHFG 2019.
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“We have been too nice for too long!” Advocating for health in Europe

I met Fiona Godfrey, former Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), at the workshop ‘Transforming HIV responses in Europe’ during the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) 2019. I knew immediately this was a lady I wanted to speak to! She has ideas how we, in the European Union (EU), can use our establishment to improve the health of our population, even if perhaps it may seem like, unrightfully so, the EU has no mandate on health.

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Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan: Boosting Prevention and Catalyzing Joint European Action to Improve Patient Outcomes

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. In Europe, 3.9 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and an estimated 1.93 million people died from cancer in the same year1. In fact, 40% of EU citizens are likely to face this disease at some stage of their lives. With Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the new European Commission is placing the fight against cancer at the top of its policy agenda.

Dr. Tit Albreht, Lead of IPAAC Joint Action and an expert on National Cancer Control Plans (NCCPs), spoke to Young Gasteiner Thomas Gelin after the EHFG 2019 session ‘A European Cancer Plan’. He emphasised the importance of focusing on prevention, early diagnosis, and patients’ and survivors’ quality of life.

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European alcohol policies: Rethinking and strengthening implementation (F10)

Did you know that one million deaths per year in the WHO European Region are due to harmful use of alcohol? – and that these figures vary within and between countries in the region and by social group? Evidence also shows a clear relationship between alcohol consumption and life expectancy; if you decrease the former you can increase the latter. So why aren’t countries doing more to prevent this?

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