International Monetary Fund

Public Health Care Reforms: Challenges and Lessons for Advanced and Emerging Europe

The IMF Fiscal Affairs Department and Offices in Europe are organizing a conference on Public Health Care Reforms: Challenges and Lessons for Advanced and Emerging Europe

The Conference will focus on the key fiscal policy challenge in many European countries of public health care reforms, bringing together senior policymakers and leading academics to provide an opportunity to disseminate recent work on public health care reform. It will also provide a forum for policymakers to interact and share their respective experiences. Three sessions, followed by a panel discussion, will focus on health care challenges in Europe (session I); on cross-country studies of health reform (session II); and on case studies of country experiences of health reforms (session III).

The conference will be hosted at the IMF Offices in Europe, in Paris, and will take place on June 21.

Participation to the conference is by invitation only. Should you have any questions regarding the program, please do not hesitate to contact Rodolphe Blavy or Benedict Clements; and Jocelyne Dyer for any practical question.

Program and Papers
June 21, 2011
8:30–9:00am Registration
9:00–9:15am Opening remarks, Emmanuel van der Mensbrugghe (Director, Offices in Europe, IMF) and Carlo Cottarelli (Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)
9:15–10:45am Session 1: Health care challenges in the coming decades: costs, outcomes, and efficiency

This session will discuss challenges facing health care systems in both advanced and emerging Europe in the coming decades. Issues to be discussed include escalating public health spending, efficiency of health care systems, and improving health outcomes.

Chair: Pier Carlo Padoan (Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist, OECD)

Global trends in public health spending and the outlook; Benedict Clements (Chief, Expenditure Policy Division, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)

Cross-country comparison of health care system efficiency; Isabelle Joumard (Senior Economist, Economics Department, OECD)

Health care challenges in Europe; Giuseppe Carone (Head of Unit, Directorate- General for Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission)

10:45–11:00am Coffee break
11:00–12:30pm Session 2: Impact of health care reforms: cross-country studies

This session would discuss reform experiences of advanced and emerging economies, based on cross-country studies. The focus will be on identifying reforms that helped reduce the growth of public health expenditures and improve health system efficiency. The effects of health care reforms on health outcomes and equitable access to health care will also be discussed.

Chair: Lucio Pench (Director for Fiscal Policy, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission)

Health care reform in advanced economies: what are the lessons?; Sanjeev Gupta (Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)

What emerging economies can learn from high income countries in health; Abdo S. Yazbeck (Lead Health Economist, The World Bank)

Voluntary health insurance and health care reforms; Sarah Thomson (Senior Research Fellow, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and Deputy Director LSE Health)

12:30–2:00pm Keynote address: Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Special remarks: Nora Berra, French Health Secretary of State
2:00–3:30pm Session 3: Country experiences in health care reform: case studies

This session would focus on reform experience in selected countries to distill lessons that may be applicable for advanced and emerging Europe. The case studies will focus on the impact of reforms on costs, health outcomes and health system efficiency. The legislative process and implementation of reforms will also be discussed.

Chair: Juris Barzdin (Minister, Ministry of Health, Latvia),

Reforming Health Care - The German experience; Michael Stolpe (Researcher, Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

England: Europe's health care reform laboratory?; Peter Smith (Professor, Imperial College Business School London and Co-Director, Centre for health Policy)

The reform experience of Estonia; Ewout van Ginneken (Senior Researcher, Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Department of Health Care Management, Berlin University of Technology)

3:30–3:45pm Coffee break
3:45–5:30pm Session 4: Health care challenges and reform options for advanced and emerging Europe

This panel discussion will focus on policy options for containing public health spending and improving health system efficiency. Panelists will discuss: (1) determinants of public health spending; (2) reform options to contain the growth of public health spending and improve health system efficiency; (3) the need to ensure that the poor maintain access to high quality care; and, (4) the appropriate role of the state and private sector in meeting these objectives.

Moderator: Carlo Cottarelli (Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)


Martin Seychell (Deputy Director, Directorate for Health and Consumers, European Commission)

James Breslin (Assistant Secretary, Department of Health and Children, Ireland)

Paul Johnson (Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Irina Akimova (First Deputy Head, Administration of the President of Ukraine)