"Health as a Public Good - Fiscal measures supporting national health systems and preventing ill health" is the title of the upcoming EPHA workshop on 25 November. This will be organised by EPHA, at the invitation of the European Socialist Party, in the framework of its annual convention, and more specifically within the “just society and equality” PES workshops.
In the current European political context Health is all too often seen simply as a sector with potential for investment, innovation and economic growth. While this is important in order to further the innovation agenda and can indeed boost economic growth, the primary concern of a public authority should be to maintain the health and wellbeing of its population.
State interventions on nutrition and health can have a massive affect on what food is available and how much it costs. Much public health evidence has shown that interventions on the marketing, pricing mechanisms, and availability of products, to name but a few, have a concrete impact on consumers’ behaviour and choices. What is the responsibility of public authorities in order to make sure that their population’s right to health is protected? Are Member States using all of their power to ensure that their population’s health comes first, and economics second?
With the cost of the management of NCDs reaching record levels, are European States using the appropriate mechanisms to have budget savings? Investing in prevention will not only substantially bring down costs (as a large number of these diseases are preventable) but will actually fulfil one of the key responsibilities of the State, which is protecting the health of those living within it.
The EPHA event at the PES conference will address the challenges mentioned above, focusing on the case study of fiscal measures applied to food policy and its impact on consumption at a population level.
The workshop will take place on 25 November 2011 from 15.00 to 16.30.
Speakers will include
Luiza Bara (EPHA Director of Policy and Strategy)
Dr. Mike Rayner, Director of the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at the University of Oxford
Sophie Hæstrup Andersen, Member of the Danish Parliament and Health Spokesperson for the Danish Social Democratic Party (TBC)
Robert Pederson, EPHAC Manager
Moderated by Monika Kosinska, EPHA Secretary General