On June 18-22 Plovdiv University hosted a content deliberation workshop in a beautiful Zheravna village, Bulgaria. During this workshop 31 BIHSENA members, representing all project universities, shared and discussed the recent insights in the interdisciplinary field of health, innovations, and societies. The knowledge and critical perspectives gained will be used in the development of BIHSENA courses.
The first day of the workshop was devoted to problem-based learning (PBL) sessions and lectures about mapping and measuring population health and about health systems in transition. Participants of the workshop read suggested literature sources in advance to ensure in-depth discussion. They opened the day with considering in small mixed-discipline groups how epidemiology, being an important tool to map the health of populations and to provide input for policy-making, also frames health, risks, and diseases. The next PBL session focused on the evolution of competing approaches and priorities in the field of health systems, including selective vs comprehensive healthcare delivery and community vs facility-based care, and current shifts towards building integrated health systems. Throughout the day short lectures by participants were also provided to link the topics discussed with the specific contexts in the countries where BIHSENA works. For instance, Olena Ihnashchuk spoke about current health situation in Ukraine, Olga Fedorova presented data on the health of the Russian population, and Stefan Poździoch, Tetiana Stepurko, and Ekaterina Borozdina provided comprehensive accounts of recent transitions in, respectively, Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian health system.
The second day of the workshop was devoted to a PBL session focused on innovation for health and to a seminar by Wim Groot on healthcare governance. During the PBL session the workshop participants discussed in small groups recent perspectives on definitions, processes, and implications related to innovations for health. The importance of interdisciplinary work was highlighted because the field of innovations for health is characterised by a multitude of perspectives cutting across disciplines and sectors. Against this background, the participants considered how to make health innovations work in various contexts, how to tie innovating with the needs of society and citizens, and how to assess value and success of health innovations. Lectures by Olga Zvonareva, Evgenia Popova, Ivan Tchalakov and Mimi Vassileva linked these topics to specific cases of health innovating in Russia and Bulgaria. During the seminar on healthcare governance Wim Groot focused on objectives of healthcare governance and provided detailed and in-depth investigation of how each is being achieved in the context of Dutch healthcare. Workshop participants further worked on analysing healthcare governance in their own countries and discussing the differences.
The rest of the content deliberation workshop was devoted to presentations and discussions of the course drafts prepared within the framework of BIHSENA. Special attention was given to the questions of how to embed topics discussed earlier during the workshop in the curricula being developed and link them with the local contexts. The workshop was closed with the lecture of the BIHSENA coordinator, Klasien Horstman, about ‘Where are the publics in public health?’. The lecture focused on the roles of citizens in improving health and the ways to engage public in public health.