January 2023 – The Invest4Health Horizon Europe (I4H) project was officially launched with the kick-off meeting on 2 February. During this thriving and highly productive meeting in Malmö, Sweden, the consortium partners engaged in in-depth discussions about the project’s goals, objectives, key concepts, timelines, and individual responsibilities.
The Invest4Health project responds to the diminishing capacity of governments to allocate additional funding for health and social care, especially for health promotion and disease prevention. It is ironic because one of the main messages from the pandemic is that better investment in health promotion and disease prevention will help reduce the burden on health and social care resources and workforces in the short, medium and longer term. In particular, from future public health emergencies, health inequities, energy and cost of living crises and still ageing populations.
By recognising the need for a paradigm shift, the project prioritises preventative measures over reactive ones and incentivises new methods of financing health promotion and disease prevention.
The proposed financing solution is Smart Capacitating Investment (SCI), which aims to provide sustainable funding for preventative health measures to facilitate the usage of SCI in health promotion and disease prevention, and ultimately ensure that the right interventions and services are delivered to the right populations, groups, or individuals at the right time and in a sustainable way. Key stakeholders involved in the project will include healthcare decision-makers, policy-makers, health insurers, funders, public authorities, civil society, citizens, patients, and industry representatives. The ultimate goal is to achieve a paradigm shift by developing and testing models, alternative governance mechanisms, and tools/methods in collaboration with these stakeholder groups.
Jolanda van Vliet, the Region Skåne, Sweden project manager, expressed her enthusiasm for leading this large-scale and exciting project. Near the start of the project, she said: ‘I am honoured to lead this exciting and large-scale project on behalf of my region, which presents a significant and stimulating challenge for all partners involved. With the diverse expertise of the consortium partners, our objective is to develop an innovative investment model that effectively demonstrates practical applications in support of health promotion and prevention. The kick-off meeting was crucial for our successful collaboration, as we laid the foundations, clarified key concepts, and are ready to overcome any obstacles to achieve our goals over the next 3.5 years. We believe that by strengthening health promotion and prevention through innovative investment, we will together make significant progress towards improving the health outcomes of our populations, transforming our healthcare systems, and tackling the health challenges all societies face in both the short and long run.’
The consortium comprises 18 partners from 8 countries, working to enhance health promotion and disease prevention. With testbeds in various types of health systems and coverage across 351 municipalities, the project aims to drive meaningful change in health financing and significantly impact population health and well-being and reduce health inequities.