The experiences of the early 21st century have unequivocally raised awareness for the global interconnectedness of our personal lives and our societies in general. Multidimensional crises, with significant impact on social and individual health and well-being, increasingly require responses based on co-operation, the building of new relations, and the exchange of tools and techniques. These demands have been captured by the ideas stated in the WHO Geneva Charter for Well-Being (2021), the latest formulation of the health promotion ideals, emphasizing stronger than ever the personal and social interdependencies.
The Charter impresses on the importance of social determinants, on equity, participation, and the effects of well-being on a peaceful and healthy development of society. It calls for a deliberation of the way digital communication impacts individual health both in the way of opportunities and challenges. The Charter promotes ecological awareness and points out how our health and healthcare systems are connected to our physical surroundings and the natural world. We find the significance of well-being and health in general boosted in a world of ongoing crises and are challenged to learn and grow to overcome exclusion and social division.
Against this backdrop, the 29th International Conference on Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services addresses the role of health promotion in well-being-oriented healthcare.
The conference is dedicated to Jürgen Pelikan (21.1.1940 – 11.2.2023) in recognition of his significant role in initiating, implementing, and perpetuating HPH. He was Chair of the Scientific Committee of all International HPH Conferences since the first HPH conference in 1993.
The first plenary session will focus on the workforce, as the foundation of health-care systems. The globally increasing challenges to attract, recruit and retain health-care workers have reached public awareness, as have issues of supporting and maintaining their health and well-being. Health promotion has repeatedly shown effects on work satisfaction and productivity. The identification and implementation of effective strategies based on insights and experiences remain a challenge.
In the face of ecological as well as economic crises, the aim to restructure our societies, organizations, and personal lives towards more sustainability, has become an integral part of many ideas for societal development. The present energy crisis is exacerbating the urgency of these ideas while highlighting interdependencies in our global economy. The second plenary session will address the crucial roles the health sector plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thus improve lives. Furthermore, successful contributions of health promotion in healthcare to climate change mitigation and adaption will be shown and requirements discussed.
Multiple crises are affecting billions of people around the world in the way they live their lives. Technological advancements accelerate the speed of health services provision and the need for people-centered communication. Many of the responses to these challenges risk to aggravate social inequity and pose challenges to our physical, mental, as well as to our spiritual and social well-being. The intersectionality of health of patients, families and communities puts increasing demands on healthcare providers. How to best provide support to those who need it will be the topic of plenary session number three.
In many cases, primary health care will be the first contact for patients with the institutions of professional healthcare. Their role to promote equitable universal health coverage has furthermore been emphasized, as the demands of health communication have intensified vis-à-vis the increased needs of the broader public. The fourth plenary session targets the role of primary health care as an intermediate between and partner of hospitals and the public and how to strengthen the relationship between these partners.
The development of HPH is inevitably influenced by the global health, social, environmental and equity challenges societies are facing. Considering the various aspects addressed throughout the conference, the fifth and final plenary session will discuss what this means for the future and how and what HPH can contribute to sustainable health and well-being.