Health officials debate the value of promoting health as a public good

Monday, 2 July 2007

The promotion and maintenance of population health is the focus of the 11th annual Health Promotion Conference, organised by the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway in collaboration with the HSE Population Health and the Health Promotion Policy Unit, and the Department of Health and Children, at NUI Galway from 5 - 6 July, 2007.

The Building Capacity for Evidence-based Health Promotion conference will address the evidence of Health Promotion effectiveness and its translation into policy and practice. The promotion and maintenance of population health is now regarded as being central to social and economic development in most developed countries. Despite the existence of a substantial body of knowledge of effective health promotion interventions that meets internally recognised standards, it is not routinely used to inform health policy.

Keynote presentations from international and national speakers, together with workshops and symposia, will be held over the two day event.

"The challenge of ensuring that our health promotion policy and practice is based on best available evidence is critical in realising the government's health improvement goals in Ireland" says Margaret Barry, Professor of Health Promotion and Public Health at NUI Galway.

The conference will consider capacity building in relation to health promotion evaluation, including demonstrating value for money, and how the health promotion evidence base can be applied in practice. Among the key speakers at the conference include; Dr Viv Speller, Health Development Consultant, UK; Dr Stephan Van Den Broucke, Public Health Executive Agency, European Commission; and Professor Jane Springett, Director of the Institute for Health, John Moores University.

"Evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health promotion actions must be translated into guidance for policy and practice, clearly communicated and applied," says UK consultant Dr Viv Speller.

The conference includes a symposium on Making the Economic Case for Promoting Health, which will be chaired by Mr. Michael Scanlan, Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children. Among those on the panel include; Professor Martin Knapp, London School of Economics and Professor of Health Economics at the Institute of Psychiatry, King s College London; Ms. Janine Hale, Principal Research Officer (Health Economics), Public Health & Health Professions Department, Welsh Assembly and Professor Eamon O'Shea, Department of Economics, NUI, Galway.

ENDS

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