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INTERVIEW

Ina Kopp – “We need to start caring for our societies at an early stage”

Director of the German Association of the Scientific Medical Societies’ Institute for Medical Knowledge-Management reflects on challenges facing health care in Germany

Nicole Bogart | 28.04.2017

The German, Swiss and British health care systems are very different, each tackling distinct difficulties regarding reform, funding, and political trials. But despite these differences, they still face many of the same broad challenges; from ageing populations and depleted workforces, to the ever-increasing costs of health care.

Ina Kopp, Director of the German Association of the Scientific Medical Societies’ Institute for Medical Knowledge-Management, believes these three nations also share difficulties regarding social care and the promotion of wellbeing in societies.

“We need to go for prevention – we need to start caring for our societies at an early stage,” says Kopp.

Sciana members echoed this concern, one describing the German system as a “sick care” system instead of a health care system, noting most fail to see a doctor until they are already ill. But this promotion of wellbeing is a societal responsibility, one that must begin outside of the health care system, in schools and workplaces to encourage healthy living, says Kopp.

“Prevention must take place where the people are. Where the people work and where the people live,” she notes. “What might be different in Germany is that we have 80 million people to care for, and last year we had one million refugees we [now] need to integrate, not only in the health care system, but really in our society.”

Yet it is these shared challenges Kopp believes will empower Sciana, the health leaders network, to become a platform to facilitate ideas, allowing members to share unique outlooks on problem solving.

“We can share some experience from pilot projects,” she says. “I’ve heard so many other approaches to the same problem that I really expect we can learn from each other.”

Kopp describes the inaugural Sciana meeting as an exciting opportunity to network with health care professionals from other countries, noting discussion between members blossomed within minutes of arriving in Salzburg.

“I do hope the next days will really bring us some opportunities to not only develop new ideas, but also write them down and work on some recommendations," she says.

28.04.2017 Category: HEALTH, 70th Anniversary
Nicole Bogart