Barcelona, Spain

HTAi 2007: HTA FOR EVIDENCE - BASED PUBLIC HEALTH

I am very pleased to invite you to the Fourth Annual Meeting of Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi), which will take place in Barcelona in June 2007.

The government of Catalonia has made a strong commitment to research and evaluation as key tools to improve the health of citizens. The promotion of R+D+I at the national level, and close links with international networks of researchers and evaluators, form a cornerstone of the Health Care and Research Policy Agenda.

During the last decade, governments concern around the world over new public health threats, such us the pandemic flu has heightened. Additionally other public health related challenges have been identified (i.e. obesity, mental health problems, migration, violence, etc). Therefore, now more than ever health policymakers are eager of evidence-based information which plays a critical role in the decision-making process on interventions that will best keep the population healthy.

The number of Health Technologies currently available that offer improved health is greater than ever. However, the needs, demands and expectations of citizens are continuously increasing. For these reasons, there is growing pressure to ensure that the resources available are serving the highest health priorities identified within communities in an efficient way. Governments worldwide need evidence-based information around which interventions could best achieve the social goal of public health.

The theme of the 2007 annual meeting is HTA for Evidence-Based Public Health. We envision this meeting as a unique opportunity to bring HTA and Public Health closer together. Researchers, practitioners and decision makers can benefit from interaction and knowledge shares. Consequently, this event will be shaped in a way that facilitates knowledge, as change while serving as a birthplace for a new multidisciplinary international network. We are working towards delivering an innovative and stimulating scientific programme, where uncertainties in methodological approaches for the evaluation of public health care technologies and interventions will be addressed. Other topics to be discussed include the evaluation of health problems of increasing prevalence, and technological innovations, that are expect impacted public health in the near future.

Barcelona is ready to host this meeting and set new trends in HTA. Cosmopolitan, active, Mediterranean, it is a city opened to people, during the day and at night, prepared to offer its visitors any assistance needed and a place where architecture, history, gastronomy, and culture merge. Without a doubt, it is a city established as an activity nerve centre of the 21st Century.

I look forward to your participation in this exciting and intellectually stimulating event.

See you in Barcelona!

Marina Geli
Catalan Ministry of Health