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The Health Foundation has become a Partner of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, an international partnership hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe.

The European Observatory was established twenty years ago to support and promote evidence-based policymaking, with a focus on the design of health systems and health policy at national and international level. It brings together international and European organisations, national and regional governments, health system organisations and academic bodies. It has a core team in Brussels and academic 'hubs' in London and Berlin.

The role of the European Observatory

The Observatory's remit covers all 53 Member States of the WHO European Region as well as health system and reform models outside Europe where these are of real relevance to European policy makers. 

It carries out four closely linked functions: country monitoring (eg overviews of how national health systems in Europe work), policy analysis (eg looking at evidence on specific health policy questions), performance assessments (eg comparing health system performance between countries), and knowledge brokering (eg helping to bring evidence into policy decision-making).

Together this work allows policymakers to understand the dynamics of health systems better; to compare them and set them in a wider European context; and to gain in-depth insights into key issues and policy challenges.

Why we are joining

The Health Foundation's participation in the knowledge brokering partnership will enable us to develop a systematic view of developments in Europe, join the Observatory's large network of policymakers across Europe, and shape the priorities of the Observatory to be most relevant to the health and care system here in the UK.

The decision to become a Partner of the European Observatory is a further example of the Foundation's focus on learning from international developments in health and health care and collaborating with international partners to enrich our work, building on existing programmes such as the Sciana Health Leaders' Network.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, said:

'Across Europe there is a shared commitment to supporting universal coverage and access to care to provide security for our populations. Sustaining that commitment means we need to understand the similar challenges facing our health systems, and possible solutions. Much greater collaboration and cross-country learning is absolutely critical for effective policy in health care in the UK in future. I am delighted that we're able to contribute to this important European partnership.'

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