CEE4Health is a network of experts and stakeholder representatives from variety of health and health related areas, joining forces in order to improve health and healthcare systems in Central and Eastern Europe. The initiative started, around three years ago, as a Think Tank group on Patient Access in the region. It gathered bright minds from the area, including medical doctors, pharmacoeconomists, heath technology assessment experts, patient advocates, academia, health professionals and industry representatives. In the process of working together, the Think Tank group analysed the situation in the region and realized the need of a more structured and focused organisation to be created, which could drive the dialogue, identify gaps and propose solutions. Also, such approach could bring and engage policy makers and other groups of experts from CEE or with experience and interest in the development of the region.
As a result, the experts of the Think Tank group gathered in Sofia on the 29th of June, during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for an establishing meeting of the new organisation, which was consequently named CEE4Health. Throughout the meeting the experts discussed and voted to agree upon, on what will be the Vision, the Mission and the Geographic scope of this new initiative. A Steering Committee was elected, members being representatives of different countries within the region, as well as representatives from various stakeholder groups within the initiative (at this point the SC has the following representatives: patients, industry, academia, healthcare professionals and policy makers). The elected governing body of CEE4Health was given a clear mandate with number one mission – to start a process of formal and legal registration of the organisation, which was already accomplished under number 1363717457 according to the Austrian authorities. The second mission, assigned to the Steering Committee, is to organize the first Regional Strategic Conference and invite wider range of experienced experts, in order to identify the common regional gaps and hurdles, and to define the key health and healthcare priorities for the future of the CEE region.