National Action Plan for Health Literacy is getting kids on board

Klaus Hurrelmann presents strategy to boost health literacy, kicks off new website. 

In a new strategy paper for the National Action Plan for Health Literacy, Klaus Hurrelmann, Professor of Health and Education at the Hertie School, and colleagues outline a strategy that will help better inform the German public about healthcare, involving schools and other learning institutions. 

The idea is to ensure that the education system is “in a position to support health competency at the earliest age possible in children’s lives,” according to the paper  written by the Hertie School’s Klaus Hurrelmann, and Ullrich Bauer and Doris Schaefferfrom the University of Bielefeld. The paper is the first in a series of recommendations related to the "National Action Plan for Health Literacy" (NAP), which a team of experts from academia and healthcare presented to the German government in February 2018. 

More than half of all Germans say they have difficulty understanding and evaluating health-related information, according to the experts. The NAP offers 15 concrete recommendations involving all relevant actors, and aims to make the healthcare system more user-friendly and promote citizens' health literacy. The "National Action Plan for Health Literacy" was initiated by the scholars and is sponsored by the Federal Minister of Health. The Robert Bosch Foundation and the AOK-Bundesverband funded the work.

The comprehensive plan for strengthening health literacy is featured in English and in German on the new NAP website, launched in September.

In a separate but related initiative, the first "Think Lab", a workshop aimed at developing ideas for reforming the healthcare system, will be held at the Hertie School. The workshop on 6 and 7 December is part of the project "Neustart!" (New Start!), funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation, which aims to create a more sustainable healthcare system as called for in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Each Think Lab will bring together 15 to 20 experts to discuss a particular topic. The results will be published as briefs by the Robert Bosch Foundation for distribution to the general public and as policy papers for experts by the Hertie School.

More about Klaus Hurrelmann