Gastein Health Forum debates Health and the economic crisis

(3 October 2009, Austria) [The European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) -> http://www.ehfg.org/congress.html?&L=0 ] took place in Bad Hofgastein from 30 September to 3 October 2009. 600 participants from the areas of public health administration, health policy, science, lobbies (patient advocates, NGOs), medicine and business took part in the 12th edition of the event. The thematic focus of this year’s programme was the numerous consequences of the economic and financial crisis for healthcare. The problem of declining revenues (lower social insurance contributions due to rising unemployment, declines in private health insurance) was discussed. Of particular interest for EPSU HSS members was the session on [Sustainability of health systems -> http://www.ehfg.org/96.html?&L=0#c336], and on [Health Professional mobility -> http://www.ehfg.org/386.html?&L=0#c925] which was attended by representatives from EPSU member the [Royal College of Nursing ->http://www.rcn.org.uk/]. “{The potential effects of the economic crisis on the healthcare system cannot be estimated highly enough},” EHFG President Günther Leiner explained. “{We have dedicated a significant portion of this year’s programme to this issue and have been able to obtain a series of leading experts who will present their concepts and counterstrategies here}.” In addition to the main theme, the economic crisis, the 20 individual events of the EHFG provide a wide range of content. This includes the especially current issue of pandemics resulting from the concern over the further spread of the New Flu (swine flu), concepts for the future-oriented reorganisation of hospitals and international cooperations for research on and therapy for rare diseases. For more information please go to [EHFG ->http://www.ehfg.org/index.php]