Katovice, Slaskie (PL), 20 March 2009.
“Despite the crisis, or maybe because of it, regional politicians must take responsibility and see to it that healthcare services are available for all citizens both horizontal and vertical” said Christina Wahrolin, County Councillor of Värmland (S) and Acting President of the Committee on Social Policy and Public Health of the Assembly of European Regions (AER). “The economic crisis the world is currently experiencing will inevitably have social and health consequences, it will therefore be crucial to keep a large share of the budget dedicated to health in clear respect of the principles of solidarity. AER is calling for the other levels of governance not to overlook this central field,” Mrs Wahrolin added.
Today, AER member regions tackled the crucial issue of financing regional healthcare, agreeing on the importance of using new technologies for the benefit of health. Regions should now agree to major initial investments and regular adjustments to budgets, together with the more than ever necessary involvement of the European Union.
Moreover, regions should have the tools to enable them to attract and retain healthcare professionals, in particular through continuing education. Acknowledging the growing mobility of healthcare professionals, AER will further develop exchange programmes, based on regional solidarity. AER calls upon the EU to support these programmes and encourages the European Commission to discuss their creation in more detail.
The development of public-private partnerships (PPPs) can solve many public financing challenges. AER mandated the County of Devon County (UK), which is pioneering PPP work with schools and education, to provide information on further developments for their potential advantages.
Mariusz Kleszczewski, Deputy Marshal in charge of Public Health of the hosting region Slaskie, expressed his satisfaction with the opportunity to share regional projects and experiences in healthcare related fields: “Unfortunately, like in many other countries, the situation of health system is difficult in Poland, although it was extensively reformed in 2003. But we always try to find efficient solutions, and I had the privilege to explain our region’s “saving plan for hospitals” launched last month, through which we strongly believe the citizens of Slaskie will have better access to healthcare in the future.”
Through the work of its members and their exchange of best practices, AER aims to contribute to resolving healthcare inequalities – whether they are geographical, social, gender or minority-based – and contribute to the economic revival of Europe in a flexible and long term approach.
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Some Photos of the Event
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