TO-REACH – COVID-19 Statement

1 April 2020

Enhanced solidarity and exchange of knowledge on service and policy innovation: crucial instruments to strengthen our health and care systems in a rapidly evolving environment

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an enormous impact on our health systems, and most of them are responding with speed and innovation. This crisis is putting an unprecedented level of pressure on all components of our systems, with new and evolving thinking on how to efficiently and effectively address the various challenges it creates for decision-makers, planners, those working at the frontline of service delivery and the wider population. Health systems are introducing radical changes in terms of emergency protocols, public health measures integrated with the reorganisation of hospital care, responding to the pressures placed on critical care in particular, innovative digital solutions, shortages of medical and protective equipment and infrastructure, and redeploying health care workers, while ensuring that the most vulnerable in the population and those providing essential services are being cared for.  The pandemic is strongly impacting on health research, too, reprioritising and revising ongoing work to support health system efforts to tackle the crisis, extraordinary levels of data exchange, collaboration between sectors, analysis and a shared need for new evidence. Connection between action and research has never been so necessary even in domains as health policy and health services research.

This emergency clearly demonstrates once again the complexity and interconnectedness of our health and social care systems, and the complexity of introducing and managing change in a rapidly evolving environment. Novel diagnostic, containment and mitigation policies are essential to reduce the demand for critical services and ensure timely treatment. But as affordability is a clear prerequisite to access diagnostics and treatment, service and policy innovation is as crucial to effectively address health system capacity issues and overcome structural barriers. The TO-REACH Strategic Research Agenda has identified a number of key areas that are at the forefront of the pandemic crisis that our health systems are currently facing and that they might need to confront again in the future. These includes sustainable health service redesign and workforce planning, information technology and data exchange for health improvement, governance and health financing, collaboration, cross-country information exchange and research. These are at the very heart of the international debate on our health systems and services.

Health systems are learning from each other in real time with COVID-19, although with great uncertainty about what experiences elsewhere can teach us about our own systems and what we should do. This illustrates anew the need for enhanced solidarity and exchange of knowledge on our health and care systems and on how we should support the effective transfer and implementation of innovative services and policies within a sustainable framework for cooperation in Europe. Improved and shared understanding of the different contexts and their impacts on system performance and structures is vital.

Within this context the TO-REACH consortium, whilst supporting EU’s coordination efforts in response to the crisis, upholds the need for even stronger cooperation and exchange of knowledge and evidence, highlighting their crucial importance in improving and strengthening our health and care systems and services; today in the face of this unprecedented crisis and in the aftermath, when we will need to ensure sustainability and quality of care for all.

The TO-REACH Consortium

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Update and Agenda – Innovations in Health and Social Care – Enhancing Health and Wellbeing in Europe (3 December 2019)

27 November 2019

As previously shared, the TO-REACH Consortium is organising together with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Academy of Finland, the conference ‘Innovations in Health and Social Care – Enhancing Health and Wellbeing in Europe‘. 

The conference, taking place on Tuesday 3rd December 2019, is organised under under the auspices of the Finnish Presidency of the European Union.

We’re glad to share the final agenda for the event, which will bring together representatives from different policy areas, as well as stakeholders from public and private sector, and academia.

Programme

9.00–9.30 Registration

9.30–10.30 Plenary Session

Chair: Nick Fahy, University of Oxford / European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

  • Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Director General of Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland
  • Pekka Rissanen, Deputy Director General, Knowledge and Data, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
  • Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission 
  • Pilar Aguar Fernandez, Head of Unit, Health Innovations, Research and Innovation, European Commission
  • Walter Ricciardi, Public Health Professor, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, TO-REACH Project Coordinating Team and Chair of the Mission Board on Cancer
  • Usman Khan, Executive Director, European Patients Forum

10.30–11.00 Coffee break

11.00–13.00 Parallel Working Groups

First round at 11.00–12.00, second round at 12.00–13.00; participants can attend two working groups.

  • Working Group 1: Implementing patient-centered integrated care from health to well-being
  • Working Group 2: Paying for value and innovation
  • Working Group 3: Digitalisation of European health systems
  • Working Group 4: European health and care workforce for the future

13.00–14.00 Lunch buffet

14.00–14.45 Wrap up from chairs and rapporteurs of Working Groups

14.45–15.15 Coffee break

15.15–16.00 Open discussion and closing remarks

  • Markus Perola, Vice Chair of the Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment, Academy of Finland
  • Silvio Brusaferro, President of the Italian National Institute of Health, TO REACH Project Coordinating Team

Date and time: Tuesday 3 December 2019 from 10:00 to 16:00 (CET)

Venue: Stanhope Hotel Brussels by Thon Hotels, Rue Du Commerce 9, Brussels, Belgium

Registration

The event is by invitation only. For more information, please contact: Riikka Rossi, THL
+358 29 524 7436
[email protected]

More info and details:
https://thl.fi/en/web/thlfi-en/whats-new/events/thl-s-eu-2019-side-events/supporting-health-and-social-care-innovation

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TO-REACH responds to European Commission Consultation on Horizon Europe

9 September 2019

On Friday 6th September 2019, the TO-REACH Consortium responded to the European Commission public consultation ‘ Horizon Europe Co-design 2021-2024’, focused on co-designing and shaping the future EU research and innovation investment framework. The consultation collected inputs from across Europe and beyond, informing the Commission’s work towards the definition of a ‘Strategic Plan’ for Horizon Europe, which will guide the work programmes and calls for proposals for Horizon Europe’s first four years (2021-2024). The consultation and its results will be further discussed during the European Research and Innovation Days in Brussels from 24 to 26 September 2019.

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