European health policy makers meet at the EHFG Conference of Ministers in Salzburg

Salzburg 29 August 2008A range of the most prominent European health policy makers met August 28-29, 2008 for a regional meeting of Central European health ministers in Salzburg. The health ministers from Austria and its neighbouring countries took part in the informal high-level meeting organised by the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) in co-operation with Austria's Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth.

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Participating health ministers and representatives included:

  • Darko Ziberna, State Secretary, Slovenia
  • Ulla Schmidt: Minister, Germany
  • Dr. Tamás Székely: Minister, Hungary
  • Dr. Andrea Kdolsky: Minister, Austria
  • Dr. Martin Meyer: Government Councillor, Liechtenstein
  • Michael Vít M.D., PhD: Deputy Minister, Czech Republic
  • Professor Thomas Zeltner: Director, Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland
  • Fabrizio Oleari, Director General, Ministry of Health, Department of Prevention, Italy

The main topics of discussion were current European Union-level efforts to facilitate the utilisation of cross-border health services. "Patient rights and European co-operation in health policy are traditionally central issues for the European Health Forum", according to EHFG President Günther Leiner, "and in past years it is precisely these areas where important preliminary work that has been incorporated into the current commission proposal was accomplished at the EHFG and in its numerous forums and discussions."

Another important subject of discussion was the development and expansion of European contact points, which will play a key role in the further improvement of quality standards of medical services in the European Union. Opportunities are currently being consolidated concerning whether and in what form the EHFG can provide a platform for the co-ordination of these contact points.

For EHFG President Leiner the ministerial meeting in Salzburg is a milestone in the development of EHFG activities: "The European Health Forum Gastein has solidly established itself as the European Union's leading health policy conference. Additional events such as the ministerial conference in Salzburg play an enormous role in advancing European health policy, thereby permitting us to live up to our claim of becoming a central platform for information and the exchange of knowledge in European health policy."


Leslie Versweyveld

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