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2013 Annual Summit

Investing in Healthcare: Breaking down the Silos

In 2013, the Fit for Work Europe Summit focused on the impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on the health and productivity of the EU workforce. Top experts discussed new pathways for delivering better healthcare investment and economic growth and presented examples from countries like Spain, Sweden, Latvia and the UK, where positive results have already started coming through.


In addition, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Health Minister of Lithuania and representative of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU, acknowledged that healthcare should be considered as an "investment and resource", rather than a cost. Gianni Pittella, Vice-president of the European Parliament, and Maureen O’Neill, EESC, called for more “joined up thinking”. Dr Roberto Bertollini, WHO Europe, urged the policy-makers to adopt “wide ranging prevention strategies to reduce health inequalities”, whilst Anthony Woolf, EULAR, stressed the importance of considering "work ability" as a clinical outcome. Moreover, Dr Francisco Jesús Alvarez Hidalgo, DG Employment, pointed out that the European Commission has evidence-based research showing the “benefits of better health at work”.


The premises of the European Economic and Social Committee proved too small to accommodate over 230 participants from across Europe, the United State, Canada, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and other countries around the world. Ministers, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the national assemblies, policy-makers, researchers, clinicians, academics and representatives of trade unions and the business community took notes, asked questions and watched the video stories of two patients who went through early intervention programmes.


To get further insights from the Summit and view the presentations, please visit Highlights in 2013 and Call to Action.


A report of the event will be published shortly.

Watch Ann Christin’s story on fighting pain and work disability

Watch Purification’s story on experiencing early intervention  


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