Observations Border Crossing

Views from Venice

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3362 (Published 17 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3362
  1. Tessa Richards, assistant editor, BMJ
  1. trichards{at}bmj.com

    On living la dolce vita and the merits of collaboration to assess new health technologies

    Summer school on the island of San Servolo. Venice is a mere 10 minute boat ride away. But it’s not art history that’s timetabled. This is a course for those whose thirst is for health technology assessment.

    It’s the third summer school that the European Observatory for Health Systems and Policies has run on the island in conjunction with the Veneto region’s Health and Social Services Department. As before, the participants, 64 from 30 different countries, include a good sprinkling of those who shape health policy and those who analyse it.

    Outside, the sun sparkles on the water. Inside, the course organisers—Rheinhard Busse, professor of healthcare management at the Technical University of Berlin, and John-Arne Rottingen, from the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services—run us through the programme. It looks as intensive as our pre-course reading list. The joke then goes round that the great thing about holding a course on this tiny island is that participants are captive.

    San Servolo has housed a variety of captives …

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