How can we strengthen and support health promoting approaches within the broader health and social care system? And how can we best include other sectors in this process? These are the key challenges RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment will seek to address as task leader within the new EU Joint Action on Chronic Diseases. This CHRODIS+ Joint Action kicks off today and will run for three years.

Europe is paying a heavy price for chronic diseases: it has been estimated that chronic diseases cost EU economies 115 billion € or 0.8% of GDP annually. CHRODIS+ is a high-level response from EU countries to step up action and share best practices to alleviate the burden of chronic diseases. It builds on the outcomes of an earlier Joint Action, in which RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment was also involved.

Mandated to represent the Netherlands, RIVM will lead innovative work that seeks to integrate health promotion approaches within other elements of the health (care) system, with a particular focus on intersectoral ways of working.
Joining forces with partners from other countries, RIVM will help collect best practices as they can be identified at  different health system levels (e.g. primary care, hospital care, social care), and from different angels (policy and practice). Following on from that, barriers and levers for success will be identified. The lessons learned will be shared with the aim to implement change in the participating countries, and RIVM will organize a policy dialogue at national level. In addition, RIVM will participate in a work package on employment, looking at ways to engage employers and maximize supportive workplace measures for people living with chronic conditions.

A total of 42 institutes and organisations participate in CHRODIS+, representing 18 EU countries plus Norway, Serbia and Iceland. The Joint Action is built on four cornerstones:

  1. Health promotion and primary prevention as a way to reduce the burden of chronic diseases
  2. Patient empowerment
  3. Tackling functional decline and quality of life as the main consequences of chronic diseases
  4. Making health systems sustainable and responsive to the aging of our populations associated with the epidemiological transition.