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Public Health Status and Forecasts for the European Union. Outline for a ReportArticle 129 of the Maastricht Treaty on the European Union (February 1992) has presented the Commission with new responsibilities in the field of Public Health. In several policy documents evaluating this new mandate the need to coordinate policy and programme development and stimulate collaboration between Member States has been stressed. The importance of consultation and participation mechanisms, using a variety of organisations and networks, is also seen as essential. The actions of the EU will focus on the harmonised collection, evaluation and dissemination of health information, on the mutual exchange of know-how and experience between Member States and, eventually, on the definition of common health policy objectives and strategies. To support these actions a European Public Health Status and Forecast (PHSF) report is proposed, comprising: - a comprehensive, explanatory and comparative analysis of health status in the EU - Public Health forecasts for major health issues, based on demographic extrapolation,trend analysis and dynamic system analysis. This document presents the outline for a such a policy-oriented, comprehensive PHSF report, which must be produced as a collaborative, European, effort. The backbone of the proposed PHSF report is a conceptual model that describes the various components of Public Health and their interrelationships. A systematic line of analysis is devised to arrive at a comparative assessment of major aspects of health status and their determinants in the EU and its Member States. This analysis will produce an appreciation of important trends in major health issues, an estimate of the changing impact of underlying causes and, finally, an appraisal of the future health gains that can be expected to result from a range of policy options. In this approach aggregated health measures, such as health expectancy will be assessed incorporating other data (e.g. on cause-specific mortality, on morbidity and quality of life) and, where possible, linked to determinants of health. The added value of a successful PHSF exercise will be the establishment of a comprehensive, uniform and consistent data structure containing health indicators tailored to the European situation. This will assist Member States in undertaking cooperative ventures in the field of Public Health. The report will expand on information collected previously in descriptive documents and contribute to regular reporting on Public Health in the EU, a necessity already recognized by the Commission. In a feasibility study following this outline a number of the issues addressed here will be elaborated in more detail. Key institutions and networks active in collecting, analysing and comparing international health data will be identified. Expert collaborators must be involved and data requirements and sources must be specified. The feasibility study should also include details related to the organisation, costs and planning of a PHSF report for the European Union.