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160 european experts convene to discuss new solutions and funding options for healthcare

The conference gathered experts from over 30 countries and institutional representatives in the field of healthcare finance to discuss its development.


The conference entitled Sustainable Healthcare Financing: New Approaches for better Outcomes, held at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki on 7-8 February, focused on new solutions and funding options for healthcare. The conference gathered over a 150 experts from over 30 countries and institutional representatives in the field of healthcare finance to discuss its development.

The purpose of the conference was to generate a broad collaboration to identify ways to improve efficiency and quality in healthcare without sacrificing equity and do so by examining the role of the patient, improving value for money and safeguarding innovation.

“Each country should strive to find new ways to spend healthcare resources wisely to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by ageing populations”, says Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament and Chair of the conference.

In this context, the four reports presented are addressing:

  • Protecting equity while improving efficiency: some possibilities for expanding the role of competition and choice in healthcare delivery.
  • Ensuring value for money in healthcare: the role of HTA in the European Union.
  • Patient empowerment and efficient health outcomes.
  • Issues affecting the sustainability of health financing in several countries of south east Europe.

Sitra plays a key role in healthcare reform.
“We bring various stakeholders together to consider appropriate changes and recommendations at national and European level. We will share our experiences and look for best solutions for the benefit of all European countries. We will also discuss various potential funding options. The recommendations of the four reports will focus on essentials, that is, improved efficiency in healthcare, transparency, improved quality and the involvement of patients and other stakeholders”, says Hannu Hanhijärvi, Executive Director of Sitra’s Health Care Programme.

” The measures that can bring about change require a willingness to make decisions and involve far reaching solutions that will take a long time to be passed. What is essential is to set the forth the process of change and to create and spread willingness to welcome change, to improve cooperation and the dissemination of best practices between countries”, Hanhijärvi says.

Sitra joined the project in spring 2006 just after the report Creating an Innovative Europe by the expert group led by Sitra’s President Esko Aho was published. Aho’s report identified healthcare as a cornerstone for improving European competitiveness. It coincided with the initiative Financing Sustainable Healthcare in Europe – a two-year project initiated by the Luxembourg Ministry of Health with Pfizer as sponsoring partner with the involvement of leading organizations, such as the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the London School of Economics, the University of Toulouse, INSEAD and the European Health Management Association.

The congress is based on the four reports, which were initiated during Luxembourg’s EU Presidency in 2005. These recommendations will be presented to the Vice-President of the European Commission, Günter Verheugen, on 13th February in Strasbourg, when they also will be published on »

Further information

Hannu Hanhijärvi, Executive Director, Health Care Programme, Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, tel. +358 9 6189,

Elina Antila, Communications Consultant, Kuule Oy, tel. +358 40 548 3838, »