eHealth Strategies in Europe

Although I normally write in Dutch, I want to make an exception for this topic. On September 16th 2010, I went to Brussels for a workshop on eHealth Strategies in Europe, thanks to the organization that was kind to accept my request to participate. It was a real learning experience for me, where I learned at least one thing: I will never work for the European Union.

First things first, the workshop was really interesting, with speakers from several EU-countries.  The subject was the state of eHealth and its development in European countries, and I understood that they are busy with this topic for many years now. That is exactly the reason why I don’t want to work for the EU… Everything. Takes. So. Much. Time.

In general, the speakers and attendees were advocates of the implementation of eHealth in policy and practice, and from what I heard they were trying to achieve positive change for a (too) long period now. Sometimes, I could hear the frustration through their presentations, while remarking their efforts to be unheard by the higher decision makers (mostly politicians). Luckily, there is a lot of progress on the topic of eHealth nowadays, and that is a good thing! I admire them for not losing their passion and patience for all these years.

Overall, it was a workshop where the ambassadors of the EU-countries showed their progresses on eHealth, and quite frankly, I was most impressed by the progress of Slovakia. Michal Danilák from the Ministry of Health Service was impressive with his presentation, and showed real ambition. I hope the Netherlands will give the needed attention to eHealth too, as I truly believe in its added value for health solutions.

It is great that there are professionals as the ones of the workshop, who don’t give up easily and keep trying to achieve progress in what they believe, no matter what the obstacles are.