EU added value of EuSANH-ISA
Avoiding duplication of work, learning from each other and having access to experts from all over Europe. These are important advantages of a European network for science advice on health issues in the public domain. The quality of national recommendations will improve, says Louise Gunning, current president of EuSANH and president of the Health Council of the Netherlands.
Across Europe, governments want to base policies addressing complex issues on scientific evidence. States often face similar issues, for instance around vaccination, chemicals in the workplace, exposure to substances in the environment, nutrition or new technology in healthcare. All advisory bodies in Europe map the state of science for governments in order to advise on public programmes.
By collaborating, sharing knowledge and expertise, advisory bodies can do more with fewer people. Gunning gives an example: “Take the consequences of exposure to chemicals in the workplace. You can agree that one advisory body examines substance x and another analyses substance y. Then you might examine sixty percent more substances using the same people.”
It is about bringing together the scientific literature and interpreting and evaluating it. Based on this collaborative science, the members themselves advise their governments.
Valorization in the public domain
EuSANH may also contribute to the valorization of research in the public domain. Gunning explains: “We finance a lot of health research from public funds, both nationally and through the European Union. Some of those results are converted into products by companies, which is what we call valorization. But much of the research will be translated into public programmes. This is also a form of valorization. For this, EuSANH is a logical partner for Europe.”
A major benefit of collaboration is that members have access to experts from across Europe. Gunning says: “The fact that you have a network of like-minded members, and can get to know each other, means that you can learn from each other.”
The aim is for EuSANH to develop into a name that stands for quality.
Click here for the EuSANH booklet: “Improving science advice on health issues”