Health promoting services are a vital and valuable societal service. They include organised efforts to strengthen the skills and capabilities of individuals, as well as efforts to change social, environmental and economic conditions to alleviate their impact on public health and wellbeing. Investing in health promoting services is key for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and in building sustainable societies.
The intention of this e-guide is to assist health and social care planners, policymakers at national, regional and local levels in developing and financing of health promoting services that benefit health and wellbeing for all. We aim to inspire through a body of evidence that includes examples drawn from across the world.
This e-guide has two central objectives:
- to illustrate how to mobilise resources to finance the delivery of health promoting services.
- to strenghten health promotion and disease prevention services, as well as multi-sectoral approaches to improve health and wellbeing.
This e-guide is innovative as it explores new sources of finance and new ways of problem solving beyond traditional models, metrics, partners, responsibilities and budgets. However, it is also practical and empowering as it includes concrete and inspiring ‘out-of-the-box’ examples of how the right resources and capacities can be mobilised to help finance, build and sustain health promotion and disease prevention.
This e-guide is a shared resource of the Coalition of Partners for Strengthening Public Health Services in the European Region. The Coalition of Partners brings together leaders serving in national and subnational public health services, policy-makers and colleagues serving in several international organizations. Together, EuroHealthNet and other members of the CoP adopt shared objectives, plan joint action, develop shared resources and share the learning from implementation. EuroHealthNet is grateful for having had the opportunity to carry on their effort and build upon the initial impetus. The e-guide has benefitted from our continued collaboration with the Steering Board for Social Infrastructure in Brussels (AGE Platform, EASPD, FEANTSA, the European Social Network, the Life Long Learning Platform and Housing Europe).”
In this e-guide we present different ways to design and implement health promoting services, with attention paid to different processes and procedures of financing. It delineates solutions for financing and delivering health promoting services through a range of cross-sectoral case studies. In addition, the e-guide presents a set of public health-focused investment criteria for potential investors or financial managers. The criteria aim to bridge the gap between public health and financial investment.
What we already know:
- Available funds for COVID-19 will be dedicated to fight the pandemic and related impacts;
- Existing budgets fall far short of current and forecasted needs for other, often chronic diseases including mental health;
- Public resources are finite;
- Making the case for re-allocation of limited existing funds to prevention can cause division within health systems;
- If a united investable case is not made to financial decision makers, it is less likely to succeed;
Current investment strategies and public funding are not suitable, are unsustainable, and produce unfair social, economic, and environmental costs. This e-guide aims to demonstrate that there are alternatives.
This includes strengthening local communities, ensuring quality health and social services, encouraging environmental sustainability, and fostering economic activity. Such health promoting strategies and benefits will support the recovery the COVID-19 pandemic and lead to an economy of wellbeing.
Innovative multi-sector solutions are required to make the most suitable and equitable use of public funds and to maximise the added value of private investments. It is crucial to invest in the types of social infrastructure and health promoting services which best respond to the needs and expectations of people, especially for those who are most disadvantaged. Long-term solutions and alternative financial instruments must be considered and developed to fill existing gaps in investment.
The ability to contribute to equitable and sustainable public health is crucial for society’s economic development and social sustainability – for individuals, communities, countries, and populations. Yet provision standards for social services have declined, all while rising inequalities, the ageing of society and related chronic disease burdens, along with climate change and migration challenges have increased the demand for services. Preventative measures, delivered through health promoting services, require durable and dedicated funding. Current investment strategies and public funding are not suitable, are unsustainable, and produce unfair social, economic, and environmental costs.
To meet these needs, policymakers and planners across departments require the tools to identify new funding opportunities and the techniques to put them into practice. Investing in well-planned, equitable, and evidence-based health promoting services has multiple benefits. This includes strengthening local communities, ensuring quality health and social services, encouraging environmental sustainability, and fostering economic activity.