Over the 20 years of independence, Lithuania has established democratic governance, market economy and a social system. The Lithuanian health sector is open to global ideas and technologies and boasts significant science-based achievements.
In contrast, in some European countries, including Lithuania, the population is declining and ageing, the gap between sections of society is widening and part of the population is living below the poverty line. New technologies are being introduced and health care is improving but its cost is rising. There is a great untapped potential for improving the health of the population. Therefore, it is necessary to take account of economic and social factors that affect public and human health.
The European Health 2020 policy and strategy of the European Union and the World Health Organisation features progressive ideas. New opportunities should be reflected also in the Lithuanian Health Programme 2012 to 2020 that is currently under development. The programme should become part of the Lithuanian national strategy. At this phase, the development of the health sector should be enhanced with innovative ideas, cross-sectoral cooperation and involvement of society, politicians, businesses, the media, non-governmental organisations, the academic community, patients and doctors. Developing international cooperation is necessary for the implementation of innovation and good practice in other countries.
The Health Forum is a way towards establishing and developing innovative health processes
Active cooperation in search of political and strategic trends most suited for Lithuania and their implementation in daily operations is an ongoing process for achieving better health and longevity of the population. The Health Forum offers an opportunity for discussion on health priorities, challenges, targets and tasks. The idea of the Health Forum has received support from the Ministry of Health and from the National Health Board of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. The Health Forum should become a discussion platform, holding annual conferences, attracting scientists and practitioners, social organisations, politicians and private and public sector representatives from Lithuania and Europe.
A conference on the establishment of the Health Forum is scheduled to take place on 16 December 2011.
The theme of the Forum’s 2012 annual conference is “Health for 2020 is Built Today”.
Prof. Habil. Dr. Vilius Grabauskas
Board Chairman of the Health Forum