Health for all


Cieszyn, Poland | 15 March 2024

Health for all.
From a slogan to a reality for Europe.

About conference

One of the pillars of Europe, a Patient activities is the area of ​​public health, with particular emphasis on the fight against COVID. On March 15, 2024, we are organizing the “Health for all” conference in Cieszyn together with our social democratic partners. During the conference, we want to discuss the most important issues in the field of public health in Poland and Europe and the solutions available at the state and EU level.

The conference aims to exchange the views of European social democracy circles ahead of the upcoming elections in Poland and the EU. European social democracy has always been historically sensitive to the link between the right to health and human rights. This connection has rarely been as close as it is today. The complex political situation and growing systemic crises call for an in-depth analysis. The physical condition of the population is an issue affecting the security of the European project. Lessons from pandemics remain a major source of political controversy and political instability.  

Health is a political and economic issue. Social democracy needs to offer viable solutions for the area that has always constituted its core: public health. 

Conference topics

Privatisation and regional inequalities in access to hospitals and care services

The consequences of privatising healthcare services and their impact on accessibility and quality of medical care, as well as the deepening social stratification in this context, will be analysed. Trends toward centralisation of healthcare services and their effects on the functioning of the healthcare system will be discussed.

Addressing Mental Health Crisis in Europe

The discussion panel aims to delve into the challenging situation of psychiatric care in Poland/Central Europe in the context of growing mental health issues within Polish/CE society, it is important to identify the causes of the crisis and seek constructive solutions. Aspects such as the availability of psychiatric services, the quality of care and prevention in this area, especially targeting children and youth, will be discussed, as well as the challenges facing the healthcare system related to these aspects.

The systemic burden of Long Covid and well-being in the workplace

Long Covid is a topic almost absent from the public sphere, but the phenomenon’s scale means it can no longer be overlooked. We need a debate about both treatments, diagnosis and prevention options.

Towards a European health union

Can Europe deliver better health for all? It should and it can. The EU can have a transformative power to help deliver better access and quality for care and health services all across the Union. This session will explore how political cooperation at the EU level can be a determinant of our well-being and what policies should be constructed to build a solid European Health Union. For instance, steps have to be taken to better pool European resources and make health and pharma products more affordable, to tackle health disparities and improve on quality standards.


10:00 – 10:10 | Welcome and Introductory remarks

Mateusz Piotrowski – President of ‘Europe, a Patient
David Rinaldi – FEPS Director of Studies and Policy

10:10 – 10:45 | Health as priority for European action

Keynotes by:
Paulina Piechna-Więckiewicz – Deputy Minister for Education in charge of mental health and young people
Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis
– WHO Special Envoy for the European Region, former EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, and author of the book ‘A European Health Union

10:45 – 11:30 | Addressing mental health crisis in Europe

Scene Setting:
Tomáš Petříček – Director of the Progressive Centre and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Czechia
Andrzej Kłoda – Psychiatrist, Mental Health Center, Cieszyn

Panel discussion with:
Natalia Kallio – Board member, European Youth Forum
Tomasz Szafrański – Head of Department of Psychiatry, Lazarski University & Wolski Mental Health Center, Warszawa, President-Elect, Polish Association of Community Psychiatry
Sara Bojarczuk – Research Assistant Professor, Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw
Monika Helak (chair) – Sociologist, publicist

11:30 – 12:45 | Privatisation and regional inequalities in access to hospitals and care services

Panel discussion with:
Maria Libura – Head of the Department of Medical Didactics and Simulation at the Medical College of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, vice-president of the Polish Medical Communication Association
Jerzy Przystajko – Left Together, expert on health care
Paulina Nowak (chair) – Europe, a Patient

12:45 – 13:30 | Networking & Lunch
13:30 – 14:15 | The systemic burden of Long Covid and well-being in the workplace

Panel discussion with:
David Steadson – Epidemiologist, patient advocate
Vicky van der Togt – Expert advisor Long Covid SOS
Aleksander Temkin (chair) – Europe, a Patient

14:15 – 15:15 | Towards a European health union

Panel discussion with:
Mihály Kökény  Lecturer, University of Debrecen, author of the book  ‘A European Health Union – A Blueprint for Generation, and former Minister of Health of Hungary
Svatopluk Němeček – Former Minister of health
Nicolas Moravek – Member of the Citizens’ Panels, Conference on the Future of Europe, Working Group on Health
David Rinaldi (chair) – FEPS Director of Studies and Policy

15:15 – 15:25 | Concluding remarks

Konrad Golota – Chief of Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister




Time and place


“Krytyka Polityczna” Centre
3 Jana Łyska Ave. (entrance from 20 Przykopa St.),
Cieszyn, Poland

Date & Time

Friday, 15 March 2024
10:00 – 15:00


The conference is open and requires registration in advance