New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey
Chapter 15: Health Policy Challenges in a Uniting Europe: The Intriguing Cases of Health Security and Tobacco
Graham Moon INTRODUCTION Good health is a state of physical and mental well-being necessary to live a meaningful, pleasant and productive life. Good health is also an integral part of thriving modern societies, a cornerstone of well-performing economies, and a shared principle of European democracies. Achieving good health for all means not just reacting to ill-health, but proactively promoting health, preventing diseases and helping people make healthy choices. It also means successfully tackling important challenges currently facing the European Union. These challenges include ageing-related conditions, high levels of lifestyle related diseases linked for example with obesity or tobacco consumption, a resurgence of serious communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and the threat of new diseases such as SARS. (Byrne, 2004) This chapter starts with a statement from European Commissioner Byrne of his views on the directions that should be taken by the emerging health strategy of the European Union. Commissioner Byrne adopts a broad deﬁnition of health, akin to that used by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1946). Health is much more than medical intervention and much more than biomedical treatment systems centred on hospitals and health professionals. Such matters are, of course, national concerns and, though converging around a consensus involving mixed public–private health systems (Saltman and Figueras, 1997; Elola, 1996), the European nations differ in the ways in which they organize health care intervention. Byrne’s focus is, in contrast, on the bigger public health picture, on a concern for the broad health of the European population. This...
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