OECD Health Ministerial and High-Level Policy Forum

Better Policies for More Resilient Health Systems

OECD Health Ministerial Meeting
23 January 2024 | Paris, France 

About the Ministerial Meeting

As the world emerges from the biggest public health emergency in more than a century, it is clear that there are lessons to be learned. The COVID-19 crisis exposed significant weaknesses in health systems, calling for urgent action to ensure that they more resilient to future shocks. At the same time, global megatrends such as climate change, demographic change and increased digitalisation will likely have significant implications for health and healthcare in the years to come.

In January 2024, Health Ministers from over 40 OECD and partner countries came together to discuss the legacy and lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis, the health policy challenges that lie ahead, and the actions needed to address them. The meeting was Chaired by Belgium, with Australia, Chile, Germany, Norway and Slovenia serving as Vice-Chairs. Ministers adopted a Declaration on Building Better Policies for More Resilient Health Systems, where they committed to take action to make health systems more resilient, and delivered a clear mandate for the OECD to continue to support them to deliver on those commitments.

Message from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health from Belgium

Dear fellow Ministers of Health, 

Our health systems have continuously improved over recent decades, both in terms of investment and outcomes. Many have worked tirelessly to make that happen. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic was a sobering reminder: fundamental challenges on issues such as workforce, prevention and health promotion, mental health, inequalities and the supply chain of medical goods continue to put pressure on our health systems. If we want to make our health systems more future-proof, we must take these challenges seriously - especially in the context of rapid social, technological and environmental change. 

As the Belgian Minister of Health and Deputy Prime Minister, I’m honoured to chair the Health Ministerial Meeting on 23 January 2024, to exchange on effective approaches to making our health systems more resilient to future shocks and stresses. The outcomes of the Ministerial Meeting will help each of us to improve our policies and strengthen our case for continued investments in health. They will help to set the strategic direction for the OECD’s work on health in the coming years and the lessons and outcomes will, I hope, stimulate our work on the EU agenda on health under the Belgian EU Council Presidency. 

I look forward to seeing each of you at the Ministerial Meeting. 

Best regards, 
Frank Vandenbroucke 
Chair of the 2024 OECD Health Ministerial Meeting