Discussed health planning in Lofoten Print
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Sunday, 03 December 2006 16:52

Participating municipalities from Norway and Denmark travelled to Lofoten to exchange experiences and ideas about spatial health planning.

This autumn HEPRO partners from three Danish municipalities (Vejle, Holbæk and Sønderborg) and one county (North Jutland) travelled to Stamsund in Lofoten, where they met colleagues from the Norwegian municipality of Vestvågøy.

– The purpose of the visit was to create interest and enthusiasm about public health policies, exchange knowledge about public health planning processes and create awareness about the importance of combining health related and environmental issues. One such example is Local Agenda 21, said Richard Brattli, coordinator of the Norwegian Healthy Cities Network.

The visit intended to let the participants reflect on crucial issues for sustainable public health work, such as political leadership, intersectoral work, the challenges of mobilising people, and carrying out plans in real life. Based on discussions in Lofoten, the partners formulated activities that they will carry out in their local municipalities.

– In North Jutland, the SWOT-analysis is regarded as a draft version. Now we will go home and make a final version, said Jane Pedersen, the HEPRO contact person in the North Jutland county.

Representatives from the Vejle municipality were enthusiastic about Holbæk’s neighbourhood model. Back home they intend to tell others about the model.

– We would like to see the model be carried out in practise, said John Zola Jensen from the Vejle municipality.

– We will make sure that the recently established «Forum for Health» is anchored in the new organisation. We will particularly emphasise the implementation of new public health ideas and pay attention to how people collaborate and connect with each other, said Esther Vestergård, the HEPRO contact person in the Holbæk municipality.

The Vestvågøy municipality will choose certain public health issues that they intend to discuss further in a public health forum. They pay particularly attention to those who «fall outside».

– We are eager to establish partnerships with local actors, such as athletic clubs and resident unions, said Ben Erik Grav from Vestvågøy.

In Sønderborg, the municipality intends to develop a public health policy and program with a holistic perspective.
– We realise the importance of involving the citizens, but how do we do this in a successful way, asked Gregor Gurevitsch, Danish HEPRO contact person and coordinator of the Danish National Healthy Cities network. He pointed out:

– Before we involve the citizens, we must assure ourselves that we have sufficient resources available.