Network of Cities for Modern Public Health:
An innovative European project
Providers of health and social care, local governments as well as the health and welfare insurance bodies in cities all over Europe are experiencing serious difficulties in assuring conditions for health and social well being in daily life and appropriate services of health and social care for citizens and customers. The world around us is changing rapidly and we have not yet been able to develop appropriate approaches matching current needs and life styles. EFSQ board member professor dr. Harry G.J. Nijhuis and EFSQ director dr. Laurent J.G. van der Maesen both take great professional interest in Public Health. Their social quality approach addresses individuals in relation to formal structures and social networks in such a way that citizens are empowered to cope with aspects of daily life that matter for health.
What seems to be missing at the moment is an overall adequate modern theory and related approaches, instruments and infrastructures to define and realise effective health and social policies. Notions like quality of life, empowerment, inclusion, social cohesion and social capital are widely used seductive policy concepts. But these concepts are usually either theoretically not elaborated or not interconnected. In the social quality theory these concepts are well-defined and interconnected. Therefore policies built on this theory will be more coherent and oriented to be supportive for the daily life of citizens. Intuitively in our cities various good practices of modern public health are being developed. They are strongly related to these same notions.
With the new theory we have new ideas to analyse, further develop and debate those good practices of modern public health. In cooperation with Bureau Public Health of the Municipality of The Hague several contacts have been established with potential partners who are interested in the application of the theory of social quality to the area of public health. In this respect a thematic issue of the European Journal of Social Quality is forthcoming, under guest editor-ship of Dr. Paul Ward of the University of Sheffield, department of Public Health. Currently the Foundation is working on the operationalisation of this domain in the cities the Hague and Amsterdam. The municipality of the Hague has commissioned the European Foundation to study some experimental health care settings.
The report of this study can be downloaded here (in Dutch): Analyse van de Haagse Proeftuin Maatschappelijke Dienstverlening (5,7 MB PDF-file)
Other related documents can be downloaded here as well
- Volume 6, Issue 2: 2006 of the European Journal of Social Quality: Social Quality and Modern Public Health: Developing a Framework for the Twenty-First Century.
- SAG lezing, Over toekomst van de Amsterdamse Gezondheidscentra, only available in Dutch.
- Inaugurele Rede voor de Leerstoel Grote Stad en Gezondheidszorg van Prof. Nijhuis, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 20 november 2003, Grote Stad en Gezondheidszorg, Sociale Kwaliteit als Referentiekader, only available in Dutch.
- STIOM good practice example (June 2004).