Our mission

Health First Europe is a non-profit, non-commercial alliance of patients, healthcare workers, academics, healthcare experts and the medical technology industry. We are joining forces to transform health care through innovative solutions. Since we believe that every European citizen should benefit from the best medical treatments available, we aim to ensure that equitable access to modern, innovative and reliable health care solutions is seen as a vital investment in the future of Europe. Our alliance was born in 2004 thanks to commitment of our co-Patrons and our members to build truly patient-centred healthcare systems in Europe.

You may see the HFE 2021 Work Programme.

Our vision

  1. Innovating for sustainable healthcare systems in Europe
  2. Healthcare practitioners are a key factor for innovating in new models of delivering healthcare services
  3. Patient-centric solutions for sustainable health systems
  4. Consistently valorising quality health is the cornerstone of a productive Europe
  5. “Health equals wealth”. Health is a productive economic factor in terms of employment, innovation and economic growth.

Our organisation

HFE is composed of a Patron, an Honorary President, two Honorary Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer and an Executive Committee (EXCOM).

John Bowis became HFE’s Patron in June 2018 (replacing David Byrne, former Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection in 1999-2004). Prior to that, he has been HFE Honorary President from 2009 to 2018. John is a former Member of the European Parliament and a former Member of British Parliament. From 1987 to 1997, he served as Member of UK Parliament, serving two terms in the UK Government as Minister for Health (1992-1996). From 1997 to 1999, John worked as International Policy Adviser to the World Health Organisation.

To learn more about John Bowis’s profile, please click here.

Our Honorary President

Since June 2018, HFE’s Honorary President is Roberto Bertollini. From 2011 to 2016, Mr. Bertollini has been WHO Representative to the EU in Brussels and Chief Scientist of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Since January 2017, he has been Advisor to the Minister of Public Health of Qatar, working to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the public health system in the country. In addition to this, he is Member of the Scientific Committee on Health, Environment and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, providing scientific opinions to European Commission Services on health-related issues.

HFE Vice-Presidents:

  • Neda Milevska-Kostova, IAPO – The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations
  • Ber Oomen, ESNO – The European Specialist Nurses Organisation

Members of the Executive Committee 2023-2025:

See all HFE members


HFE is run by a Secretariat in Brussels. The HFE Secretariat is operated by Instinctif Partners.