Following our successful Year of Logistics in 2018, AmCham Belgium is proud to announce the Year of Healthcare – an initiative led by our Innovative Healthcare Committee (IHC) starting on September 24, 2020 and running until June 2021. The goal of the Year of Healthcare is to further help build a long-term sustainable and innovative healthcare ecosystem for patients in Belgium while further strengthening Belgium’s position as a global leader in healthcare. During this year, several dedicated events will be organized and various publications will be released.
After months of preparation, AmCham Belgium was about to launch its Year of Healthcare in April 2020 when the coronavirus struck Belgium and other countries. Despite the postponement of our launch event, the COVID-19 crisis has only highlighted more than ever the importance of healthcare and our health in general. The Year of Healthcare will therefore show how international companies contribute to Belgium’s strong healthcare ecosystem and explore how we can foster more innovation and provide better care for all. We will officially kick off this initiative on September 24, 2020, with our first event: Towards Integrated Care in Belgium.
While Belgium is one of the world’s leading healthcare hubs, with many first-class research institutes and innovative healthcare companies active here, IHC members – among them most of the largest international companies operating in the healthcare sector – are convinced that the current healthcare ecosystem can be further improved to ensure innovation, quality and sustainability over time. In order to achieve that, international companies have an important role to play. Through the Year of Healthcare, we aim to showcase the many ways in which international companies in Belgium continuously develop innovative solutions and how they make a difference for the patients as well as for the healthcare system in general.
During the Year of Healthcare, two publications will be launched. The first one will focus on integrated care, with concrete recommendations for policymakers, based on feedback the IHC has received from 20 organizations representing different healthcare stakeholders (patient organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, sick funds, etc.). It will be launched at our kickoff event on September 24. The second publication will highlight the positive impact those international healthcare companies have, not only on the Belgian economy, but also on patients, research institutes, universities and other healthcare organizations.
Various events (panel discussions, policy debates, company visits, etc.) will be organized in order to strengthen the network, share our messages and showcase our members’ interests and broad spectrum of activities. The IHC’s unique cross-sectoral structure, with numerous sectors represented (pharmaceuticals and med-tech companies, clinical research and data companies, law firms, consultancies, banks and insurance companies, IT companies, etc.), clearly indicates that healthcare matters for many companies. As today’s main healthcare challenges can only be solved through cross-silo collaboration, IHC members want to build bridges with all stakeholders during the Year of Healthcare and beyond, in order to foster more innovation and a high-quality sustainable healthcare ecosystem in Belgium for the benefit of all Belgians.
Some activities already planned include:
- September 24, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.: Towards Integrated Care in Belgium – Year of Healthcare launch event. This event will take place online and include a panel discussion in Dutch and French.
- October 15: Healthy Working, an event hosted by AG Insurance in cooperation with our Human Capital & Talent Committee.
- November: Panel discussion on the future of bio-manufacturing and the importance of talent acquisition and retention.
- December: Event on clinical trials and innovation.
- March 2021: Launch of our report on the Importance of Healthcare Companies and Innovation in Belgium.
- April 2021: Healthcare policy breakfast
- May 2021: Healthy cocktails networking event
- June 2021: Year of Healthcare - Concluding policy debate
Stay tuned for more details on these and other events to be announced soon. As our members’ and our guests’ health remains our top priority, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and we will ensure that our events meet the highest health and safety standards. We look forward to seeing you at many of our Year of Healthcare activities!
About the authors
Olivia Natens, Country Director BeNeLux, Medtronic Belgium
Olivia is Chair of the Innovative Healthcare Committee. Connect with her.
Kathleen Commers, Public Affairs Manager, Pfizer
Kathleen is a Vice Chair of the Innovative Healthcare Committee. Connect with her.
Dirk Hemelsoet, Policy & Government Relations Manager, MSD Belgium
Dirk is a Vice Chair of the Innovative Healthcare Committee. Connect with him.
Joan Van Loon, Belux Enterprise Business Unit Leader, IBM Belgium
Joan is a Vice Chair of the Innovative Healthcare Committee. Connect with him.
David Gaier, Public Affairs Officer, AmCham Belgium
David is AmCham Belgium Staff Liaison for the Innovative Healthcare Committee. Connect with him.