Health Matters: Calling Young Professionals to take Europe’s Pulse

Without health, life is nothing, as the saying goes -- and healthcare policy in Europe is at a crossroads. Young professionals who want to to shape what the continent's systems for health and wellbeing will look like in the future can join the European Health Parliament -- and the deadline to apply is November 16. The European Health Parliament is an initiative of the young MEPs' action group EU40, news site Politico, the College of Europe, Johnson & Johnson and Google. Europe needs to confront its numerous health problems, as the costs, both human and financial, are shared by us all. Because new challenges require new thinking, the European Health Parliament will bring together 50 young professionals in Brussels between December 2015 and June 2016 to discuss what the issues are and how we can deal with them. The results from the sessions will be wrapped into a series of academic papers to share with policymakers and social media.

The first edition of the European Health Parliament was a huge success, with many participants hailing it as a "once-in-a-lifetime experience." There were debates on everything from how sharing patient records across borders can help prevent the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis, to how telemedicine systems empower patients. The final result was these seven recommendations on how to make Europe's healthcare system fit for the future. Participants discussed burning issues with key figures in the European Parliament including Giovanni La Via, Philippe De Backer and Eva Kaili. Afterwards, they shared their recommendations with EU Commissioner for Health Vytenis Andriukaitis and Belgian Minister of Social Affairs and Health Maggie de Block. The upcoming edition isn't just a repeat of the same exercise. As healthcare becomes increasingly digitized -- think everything from fitness apps on your phone to operations via videolink and sharing patient records electronically -- it's time for the European Health Parliament to get online as well. Google is keen to make digital skills a theme this year, so candidates with an ICT background are especially welcome. Innovation, creativity and fearless thinking are what Europe's healthcare systems need at this point! The deadline for applications is November 16. If you are under 35, have a degree, and are available for several meetings in Brussels during coming months -- and, most importantly, want to share your views on how to best shape European healthcare in the future -- apply here now. Posted by Marco Pancini, Senior Policy Council Google