Past Program

Jan 16 - Jan 21, 2016

Hooked on Health Care: Designing Strategies for Better Health

Session 559

Session Summary

The dominance of medicine has led most developed economies to invest in healthcare rather than health and there is danger of replication in low and middle-income countries. This is neither good for communities or individuals through their life course, nor is it an effective use of resources, especially with non-communicable diseases continuing to increase, aging populations, and healthcare costs rising faster than GDP in every developed economy.

We aimed to re-set the agenda for health by building on participants' experience of those factors and cross-sector collaborations which maintain and promote health and well-being; developing a sequence for action and investment by health care providers and funders in support of a strategy for health; understanding why we have become hooked on health care and what is needed to reduce our dependence; indicating where providers and governments, from local to national, can act most effectively across domains and levels; and charting the business case for health, identifying where employers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders can best intervene and collaborate.


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Session Format and Key Questions

The session was envisioned as being highly participatory, with a strong focus on building new insights, aggregating perspectives and experiences from different sectors, areas of expertise and regions. Working groups, each with a thematic and/or country focus, prepared recommendations. A network curator carried the knowledge exchange forward beyond the session itself. Key questions addressed included:

  • What are the points of leverage in support of health and wellbeing? Where would investment therefore likely have the greatest impact?
  • Where has a shift to health started and what have been the contexts, drivers and benefits? Where that shift is held back, what have been the obstacles?
  • Which are the key social determinants of health and what policy
    choices do they present?
  • What impact does the health of a population have in terms of social
    capital and productivity? How do we align market interests with
    health and work best with business?
  • How do authorities at every level of the system need to adapt to
    support health most effectively? 
  • What has worked most effectively in the promotion of health and
    wellbeing among civil society and non-government actors, and under
    what circumstances?  How are they best aligned with government

Case studies of strategies for health included physical activity; housing; and community-connectedness. 

Outcomes and Impacts

The program sought to develop:

  • A set of strategic principles contextualized in country and thematic plans that will include recommendations for policy and collaboration, influencing government policy, foundation grant-making, civil society engagement, and research agendas;
  • Identification of best practice in communication with audiences about health and innovative ways of measuring the impact of different initiatives;
  • A Salzburg Statement challenging governments, business and civil society to take action;
  • Ongoing cross-border learning and collaborations among participantsand the institutions they represent.

Pre-Session Briefing

The pre-session briefing for our program can be downloaded here.

Daily Newsletters

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4


Session Report

Download the report as a low-res PDF

Request a hi-res PDF: email

Session Photos

View full set on Flickr

(All photos are available for republication. Please credit Salzburg Global Seminar/Ela Grieshaber. If you need non-watermarked images, please contact Salzburg Global Editor, Louise Hallman.)

Other Materials of Interest

Other materials of interest can be found here.