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European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) 2023: Health systems in crisis – countering shockwaves and fatigue


he 26th European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG), co-organised with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, and in collaboration with the European Commission and – for the first time – the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, seeks to discuss solutions to the shockwaves that have hit health systems and explore countermeasures to safeguard the fatigued social and health workforce.


Health systems in Europe were facing significant problems pre-COVID, from underfunded primary and social care to workforce shortages and inequities in access to care, while addressing growing challenges such as ageing populations and the rise in non-communicable diseases. The ensuing permacrisis – including an ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis, and the climate emergency – have only exacerbated the situation, stretching health systems, and in particular the health and care workforce, to their limits.





  • Kicking off today and running through Friday (26 – 29 September) the hybrid EHFG 2023 offers four action-packed days with over 25 sessions, three plenary discussions, three press conferences, and ample networking opportunities.   

  • The EHFG 2023 gathers over 1400 representatives from science and academia, civil society, industry, and government, to explore how crises can help catalyse the development of new approaches to health system challenges.  

  • The Women in Global Health Austria Chapter will officially launch toady, in the framework of the EHFG 2023. The initiative aims to create an engaged female community working in the health sector across Austria, jointly aspiring to achieve gender equality in global health leadership.  


Photo by Freepik


The 2023 EHFG programme, built on three topic tracks, “Innovation for a resilient future”, “Building shockproof health systems”, and “Health policy at a crossroads”, features a diverse range of speakers, including the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, the Regional Director for WHO/Europe Hans Henri P. Kluge, as well as ministers and high-level representatives from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Malta. Other exciting speakers include Sara Cerdas, Member of the European Parliament, Ran Balicer, Chief Innovation Officer and Deputy Director General of Clalit Health Services, Israel, and Michael West, Senior Visiting Fellow, The King’s Fund, London. The complete speaker line-up can be found here.

“As the world continues to grapple with various crises, it is imperative that we come together to address the impact on our health systems,” stated EHFG President, Clemens Martin Auer. “The EHFG 2023 will provide a unique opportunity for stakeholders to explore innovative solutions, share best practices, and chart a course towards more robust and adaptable health systems.”

The EHFG takes place as a hybrid event between 26 – 29 September in Bad Hofgastein, Austria. The complete programme, outlining the different sessions, speakers, and conference details, is available here.