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RCP supports European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) 2018

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is pleased once again to support the annual European Health Forum (EHFG) that takes place in Gastein, Austria, this week.

The EHFG brings together some 700 delegates, including ministers, representatives of the European commission, European parliament, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and health NGOs and organisations active at European level such as the RCP.

Health and Sustainable Development

This year’s theme is ‘Health and Sustainable Development – Bold Political Choices for Agenda 2030’ which will focus on health within the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030. Key themes for discussion include innovations in healthcare such as artificial intelligence (AI), creating sustainable health systems including workforce, getting evidence such as outcomes based healthcare into practice, and addressing inequalities in health and access to healthcare.

Keynote speakers include Professor Sir Michael Marmot FRCP (UCL Institute of Health Equity), Professor Martin McKee FRCP (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and representatives of the World Health Organization and European Commission.

Artificial Intelligence

The conference includes sessions on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare, which provide an opportunity to highlight recent RCP recommendations on AI that call on the medical profession to embrace the technology, but to make sure that it works for patients. The recommendations follow a roundtable event hosted by the RCP that brought together experts from across the sector – including RCP advisers on health informatics, members of our Patient and Carer Network, healthcare organisations and industry representatives.

RCP support to EHFG

The RCP has a long tradition of actively supporting EHFG discussions. Previous RCP speakers have included former registrar and current president Professor Andrew Goddard, as well as contributions from the RCP Health Informatics Unit, a special conference feature published by RCP Commentary on ‘Brexit: where do we go from here?’ and a Clinical Medicine paper for EHFG discussions on ‘Crisis and Opportunity – Health in an Age of Austerity’.  

This year, RCP principal European adviser Paul Belcher, a member of the EHFG Advisory Committee of Experts, will take part in a ‘high-level policy makers dialogue’, chaired by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, with senior officials from national ministries, WHO-Europe OECD and the European commission. The session will identify the political challenges and tools required to achieve SDG goals for health systems and public health. Other RCP connected delegates this year include honorary fellows John Bowis MBE (Former MEP and health minister) and Robert Madelin (Former director for health, European commission).