The 43rd General Assembly of the EAHM took place on the morning of the first day of last year’s successful congress in Luxembourg. President, Mr. Heinz Kolking welcomed the delegates and started the proceedings with his 2012-2013 activity report.
Reporting on the activities of the past year, the President highlighted the importance of the EU Directive on patient rights in cross-border healthcare and the successful joint seminar held in Düsseldorf. Once again the joint endeavour was well-attended and provided delegates an excellent opportunity to share their experiences on implementing the Directive.
2012-2013 was a busy year for the EAHM in terms of congress organisation. Luxembourg 2013 was organised within an extremely tight timeframe, much to the credit of Marc Hastert and his team and preparations for Berlin 2014 are already underway. The Luxembourg congress theme of hospital management in times of crisis is of particular importance in our current situation and it will also be a key feature of the Berlin congress.
In other activities over the course of the year, members of the Board have made visits to Italy for the AMNDO annual conference, to Krakow in Poland for the 25th anniversary of the Polish Association of Hospital Managers and also to Belfast in Northern Ireland to make contact with our newest member IHM NI. These visits have highlighted the many similarities in terms of situations and challenges facing hospitals and healthcare across Europe and the important role that EAHM plays in Europe.
HK concluded his activity report reminding members that our focus must be on Europe. Currently there is more rejection than acceptance of Europe. But Europe has a large role to play in health, particularly in terms of welfare. Therefore it is important for the EAHM to meet and build a solid platform. This is one the objectives of the EAHM and must not be forgotten.
Secretary General Willy Heuschen presented the 2012 accounts with both good and bad news. He reported that despite a decrease in revenue the accounts are in balance with a small surplus. Mr. Heuschen explained that in order to balance the accounts, spending had to be restricted in terms of travel and reception costs. Despite these restrictions the EAHM work programme was still successfully carried out and Mr. Heuschen thanked members of the Board, Executive Committee and the Subcommittees for their personal contributions over the past year. He added that reducing expenditure may be a good short-term solution but in the mid- to long-term it will be challenging and more resources are needed.
The 2012 accounts have been audited and all is in order so the General Assembly accepted the accounts and the Secretary General moved on to the proposed budget and economic plan for 2014.
Mr. Heuschen believes that 2014 and the upcoming years will be a real challenge and if we want the EAHM to be a real player in Europe we have to do more. This includes increasing our activities and manpower. For this reason the Executive Committee agreed on a 5% increase in membership fees for 2014. The General Assembly voted and approved this increase. Heuschen stated he was confident that increased revenue will come from our congresses; Luxembourg was a success and Berlin will be the same. Industry partnerships will also play a key role.
Solidarity and New Members
One new expenditure in the budget is the Greek solidarity fund to support our Greek colleagues after the congress cancellation and ensure they remain active on both a national and European level. The fund will run for three years and the Secretary General took the opportunity to thank members for their support.
Two new members were officially admitted to the EAHM. The Institute of Health Management Northern Ireland Division (IHM NI) was proposed and accepted as a full member. Mr. Kolking and Mr. Heuschen travelled to Belfast last year and believe IHM NI and EAHM will have a successful partnership. Louise McMahon, Chair of HMI NI thanked the EAHM on behalf of her association and expressed hope that her association can contribute to and enhance the EAHM.
A new associate member was also admitted into the EAHM. The Akademie Leipzig Germany is an institute acting on behalf of the Deutscher Stäedetag (the association of German cities and communes). Their great work in organising training in hospital management will ensure a fruitful partnership with the EAHM.