On 12 December 2018, the Executive Committee of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine approved the organisation of the 25th WHO RHN Annual Conference 2019 which is organized together with the CoR.
In order to find effective solutions for health related issues, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2016 between the CoR and the WHO to set also health objectives for the European regions. The aim of this conference is therefore also to lay the foundations for a joint future strategy of the WHO RHN and the CoR on healthy regions in Europe.
This conference also marks the 25th anniversary of the WHO RHN Annual Assembly. Since the end of 2017, the EMR has been preparing for this event in close cooperation with the euPrevent|EMR Foundation. The core topic is “Keeping people at the centre of Health and sustainable development policies”.
The Euregio Meuse-Rhine benefits from more than 40 years of experience in cross-border cooperation in health care. This long-standing cooperation within the EMR has ensured that the EMR has been the only cross-border region that has been able to become a member of the WHO RHN.
But how close is health to the citizens? Policies and agreements are often discussed at supra- and/or national level. In February 2019, therefore, as an integral part of this conference and with the help of the Interreg People to People Programme, citizens’ summits will be held at regional level for the first time. In two summits the opinion of the citizens on the topics “equity”, “participatory approach” and “human resources in health” will be asked. These are the substantive issues that will be addressed during the WHO RHN – CoR Annual Conference. The results of the citizens’ summits will be one of the most important elements and input for this conference. A film and report will be released during the conference.
The reduction of health inequalities, ‘equity’, is necessary as health and well-being is a fundamental human right. In order to act effectively and sustainably, it is important to influence where progress in health and well-being can be achieved for the benefit of the citizen.
The “participatory approach” means that the citizen must be at the centre. The opinions and needs of citizens and patients must be taken into account. Citizens must be seen as an essential, full and emancipated partner and actor in the health sector and as such be involved in the process.
With regard to “human resources in health”, it should be noted that in view of demographic developments in many regions of Europe, including the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, there is a shortage of qualified personnel in various areas of health. This topic and the approaches to solutions will also be discussed at the congress.
Press conference: 09.02.2019.
Citizens summit in Eupen : 09.02.2019 (For German-speaking and French-speaking citizens)
Citizens summit in Aachen : 16. 02.2019 (For German-speaking and Dutch-speaking citizens)