European Public Health Week 2024: Health is a Political Choice

Reflecting on a Week of Integrating Health into Politics

The sixth edition of the European Public Health Week (EUPHW) took place from May 13th to 17th, 2024. Organized by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA), this annual initiative aimed to raise awareness about public health issues and foster collaboration across Europe. Since its launch in 2019, EUPHW has continued to grow, becoming a key event for public health professionals and advocates. This year, the European Spas Association actively participated in the event.

Kicking Off the Week: Health is a Political Choice

The theme for EUPHW 2024 was “Health is a political choice!” highlighting the critical connection between politics and health. The first event at European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies in Brussels discussed how to effectively integrate health into political agendas. Topics covered the concept of a well-being economy, and the importance of community participation in health politics. The event also explored the Health-in-All-Policies approach, emphasizing the need to incorporate health considerations across all policy areas.

Daily Themes and Innovative Approaches

Each day of the week focused on a specific theme, aligned with the overarching topic of health as a political choice:

  • The opening day initiated discussions on making health a priority in political agendas.
  • Mental Health: People at the Centre,this day highlighted the importance of mental health and the need to place individuals at the core of mental health policies and initiatives.
  • Planetary Health: A Glocal Approach, Addressing the interconnectedness of global and local health issues, this theme emphasized sustainable practices that benefit both the planet and human health.
  • Health Through the Life Course, focusing on a holistic approach to health throughout different life stages, this day promoted integrated health policies that consider all age groups.
  • Next Generation: Public Health of Today and Tomorrow spotlighted the role of young voices in public health, networks of students and young professionals. This event aimed to empower the next generation by giving them a platform to influence public health policies.

The 3rd Terme Selce Congress: A Highlight of the Week

A significant highlight of the opening day was the 3rd Terme Selce Congress in Brussels, held on May 13th with particpation of European Spas Association as partner. The Corporate health congress recognized the importance of health and well-being not only locally, but across the EU and globally. Organized by experts in human health and well-being, the congress served as a platform to discuss how to improve the culture of health and well-being in companies through best practices, education, re-education, and preventive health, including medical spas, nature and also digital tools. The goal was to increase efficiency and productivity, achieve work-life balance, and most importantly, foster the “Joy of Life and Work,” as stated by the congress initiator, Primarius Vlasta Brozičević, MD., specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and rheumatology.

She treated more than a hundred Olympic athletes, and sports became on the agenda in the Summer Olympic year at #EUPHW2024.

Reflecting on EUPHW 2024

For the first time, the daily themes of EUPHW 2024 were linked to the focus topic of the 2024 European Public Health Conference in Lisbon, “Sailing the waves of European public health: exploring a sea of innovation.” Each day’s discussions incorporated innovative approaches to addressing pressing public health issues.

As we look back on European Public Health Week 2024, we recognize the importance of making health a political priority. The discussions and events throughout the week provided valuable insights and strategies for integrating health into political decision-making. Together, we took significant steps toward fostering sustainable change for a healthier future.

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