Resilient Health System Working Conference

Both internationally and nationally, the theme of ‘resilience’ of health systems is high on the agenda. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dutch policymakers, healthcare executives, researchers, and health professionals advocated for resilience in various ways. But what does it actually mean to have a ‘resilient health system’?

‘Is resilience infinite or bounded; how much extra effort are we going to put in for the last 10%?’

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) has prepared a knowledge agenda for the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center (PDPC) regarding this topic. This draft knowledge agenda was the focal point of the working conference.

‘Doesn’t investing in resilience reinforce asymmetry in society?’

Resilient Health System Working Conference photo's

On the 27th of June, under the inspiring leadership of Pauline Meurs, emeritus professor Health Care Governance, we engaged in discussions with stakeholders from the broad Dutch healthcare sector (including both cure, care, and public health) and academia on this theme. Anja Schreijer (Medical Director of the PDPC) and Roland Bal (Professor Health Care Governance at ESHPM) delivered a clear introduction, after which the participants walked through four different themes of the knowledge agenda – human resources for health, collaborative networks, knowledge infrastructures, and societal resilience – in groups and provided valuable input.

‘An institutional question is: When does necessity break the law? We do need to make sure it stays safe.’

In animated discussions, the participants discussed their questions regarding the resilience of health systems with each other and the facilitators from ESHPM and the PDPC. The input from this morning is of great importance for further defining and prioritizing the knowledge agenda for health systems resilience. The final knowledge agenda, supplemented with the insights from this working conference, will be published – among others – on the PDPC website after the summer.

Date: July 3, 2023