On the 24-25 May 2011, the OECD releases its Better Life Initiative with the Better Life Index, which uses ‘beyond GDP’ indicators to measure well-being. EPHA welcomes the inclusion of indicators that measure wellbeing and health, and EPHA Secretary General, Monika Kosinska will be a pannelist at eh 2011 OECD Forum
***For immediate release***
24 May 2011
On the 24-25 May 2011, the OECD releases its Better Life Initiative with the Better Life Index, which uses ‘beyond GDP’ indicators to measure well-being.
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health, welcomes the OECD Initiative and calls on the European Union and on all EU Member States to move beyond GDP to measure the well-being of people living in Europe.
“Although the ‘healthy life years’ indicator is developed on a yearly basis in the EU, we have not yet seen the EU political will to move beyond GDP to well-being. The leading economic strategy of the EU - the Europe 2020 Strategy- is still measured and dominated by GDP. We are delighted in the lead shown by the OECD and hope to see a move closer towards to more accurate and progressive ways to evaluate progress, using criteria that are important to citizens, such as their health and well-being.” states Monika Kosinska, EPHA Secretary General.
Ms Kosinska, who will be among the speakers at the OECD 50th anniversary, further adds that “The Stiglitz report highlighted the limits to measuring society by GDP alone. Economic development does not equal increased quality of life at Europe’s stage of development and EPHA welcomes the development of tools that will help citizens evaluate whether their country invests in what matters for them.”
Notes to the editor :
1. EPHA is the European Platform bringing together public health organisations representing health professionals, patients groups, health promotion and disease specific NGOs, academic groupings and other health associations. Our vision is of a Europe with universal good health and well-being, where all have access to a sustainable and high quality health system : A Europe whose policies and practices contribute to health, both within and beyond its borders.
2. Monika Kosinska will be a panelist on the session “Life after the babyboomers” on 24 May - 16:00-18:00
3. Who to contact at EPHA:Anne Hoel - +32 2 233 38 82 – +32 4 98 97 55 98
6. For example, the United States spends more on healthcare than any country in the world but has higher rates of infant mortality, diabetes and other illnesses than many other developed countries. While the US has a higher GDP in the world and has the highest health expenditure in the OECD, this does necessarily translate into an increased standard of living. Other countries, such as France, Switzerland and Germany, which allocated respectively 11.2%, 10.7% and 10.5% of their GDP to health, have better health outcomes. Health spending accounted for 16% of GDP in the United States in 2008, a total sum spent of 7,538 USD on health per capita.
7. More information is available at OECD Health Data 2010 Country Notes and Press Releases
Related EPHA articles
EPHA briefing on "beyond GDP"
Measuring progress in a changing Europe
Dr Margaret Chan: Greater equity in health should be a progress indicator
Lisbon Strategy achieves ’limited progress’ for European workers
President Sarkozy ’re-thinks’ economic measurements
Exploring the links between health and socio-economic status
*Update with the WHO Press Release* Health in times of global economic crisis: implications for the WHO European Region - 1/2 April 2009
Financial crisis: who, what, and why?