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The Scottish and Basque governments to work together on developing social-healthcare and health policies

2014 June 20

The Basque Government's Minister for Health, Jon Darpón, and the Deputy Minister for Social Policies, Iñigo Pombo, met in Scotland with the Scottish Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil, with different Scottish Health and Social Services managers, in order to look for new areas of collaboration.


A Basque delegation led by the Minister for Health, Jon Darpón, and the Deputy Minister for Social Policies, Iñigo Pombo, accompanied by different representatives of the Department of Health and Employment and Social Policies, and Osakidetza (the Basque Health System) (the Deputy Minister for Health, Guillermo Viñegra;  the Director for Health Research and Innovation, María Aguirre;  the Director for Social Services; Lide Amilibia and the Osakidetza Health Care Director; Antonio Arraiza),  have held different meetings in Scotland with the Scottish Health and Social Services manager in order to exchange experiences, strengthen ties and look for new areas of collaboration  to work together to develop social-healthcare and health policies.

Thus, during the time spent in Scotland, the Basque delegation met with the Scottish Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil, and shared experiences with their Scottish counterparts, including operational, instrumental and legislative aspects related to integration, primary care and community nursing, e-health, indicators of social-healthcare results, chronic illnesses and healthy and active ageing plan, as well as the   Social-healthcare Strategic Lines  of the Basque Government to respond to the situations and social changes that act as health determinants.

They also held meetings with the Director of Health Finance, Pharma and eHealth, Scottish Government, John Matheso;  Medical Director of NHS 24, the telemedicine service, George Crooks; members of the Health Integration team; the people in charge of implementing improvement, quality and integration plans, and community nursing representatives, along with the Chief Executive of NHS Highland, Elaine Mead;  and the eHealth Strategy and Policy Lead, Bettina Sizeland.

Another of the meetings was with the Chief Executive of the Digital Health Institute, Justene Ewing, who outlined the social service and health projects being implemented in the   Digital Health Institute and thus determine areas for future cooperation. For the same purpose, they also visited the Scottish Innovation Centre for Stratified Medicine.

The Minister for Health, Jon Darpón, stressed “the positive aspect of this visit which has helped to establish new areas for collaboration between Scotland and the Basque Country, and thus continue to work together to develop projects and initiatives in the field of social-healthcare and health”.

Scotland and the Basque Country are working on joint activities in different European frameworks, both in innovation or research projects, and in the context of the European Association for Innovation in Healthy and Active Ageing (EIP-AHA) as both countries are Reference Sites. They are also both founding members of the LifeKIC consortium that is entering the competition organised by the European Innovation and Technology Institute (EIT).

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Politicians attending the event
(X term 2012 - 2016)
Other guests
  • Alex Neil Ministro escocés de Salud y Bienestar, Antonio Arraiza Director de Asistencia Sanitaria de Osakidetza