Valentina Polylas

Valentina Polylas joined the European Regional and Local Health Authorities (EUREGHA) network on January 2018 as Operations Manager. She leads and manages the Secretariat and provides strategic advice to the Chair, the Executive Board and the General Assembly. She is responsible for the strategic planning process and advocacy campaign of EUREGHA. She also coordinates the network’s commitments within the European projects. Valentina represents EUREGHA externally by liaising with members, EU institutions, European networks and other relevant stakeholders.

Since January 2018 I am working for EUREGHA – European Regional and local health authorities - a Brussels-based association representing the interest at EU level of 15 regions coming from 10 countries across Europe. This vibrant network made me positively discover how local and regional health authorities are becoming more and more interested and engaged in EU health policy, legislation and funding. Many regions are realising that the health of their citizens and system is determined by policies created at the EU level . This means that the work of the European institutions is not only relevant to them but can also complement their own local and regional efforts . The importance of local and regional authorities is central in the European debate on health, as they represent the natural interface between citizens, national and European institutions. They exert a pivotal role in improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare systems and services. Healthcare services are now facing unprecedented challenges that should push all the competent public administrations in rethinking and assessing policy options in more depth to ensure effective, accessible and resilient health systems. From a public administration perspective, the questions are: what are the risks and benefits of the various innovative approaches? Which areas are the most efficient? How can sustainability be ensured? In EUREGHA, we believe that the response must be based on cross-sectoral collaboration, integrated approaches, and innovative methods to mainstream health in all policies . Against this background, EUREGHA launched last year the campaign “Health in all Regions” where we clearly stated our recipe for the “Future of Health in the EU” . First, there is a need to create a new strategic partnership between the EU and regional and local authorities. Without the concordance of the correct competent authorities (very often sub-national authorities), the...