The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated and exposed the vulnerability of our healthcare systems, our societies and our health says EU4health, the coalition of health organisations including the European Public Health Alliance, which has been campaigning for a vision of a Europe where all people are as healthy as they can be throughout their lives
Severe care disruptions, medicines shortages, health system inadequacy, insufficient and unequal access to healthcare are but a few examples of the challenges affecting millions of people living in Europe.
To effectively deal with the COVID-19 aftermath, ensure access to care, reduce the damage of future pandemics and tackle shared challenges, a common health policy which would place shared interest above national demands is essential. The EU however is currently lacking resources and a strong mandate for action necessary to coordinate a single response.
Shaping the future of health in the EU together has therefore never been more urgent. The joint statement, calling for the EU institutions and Member States to act now for a stronger and more ambitious European health policy has 9 key asks:
Boost funds and resources for health in the EU
1. Re-establish an independent, sizeable and much more integrated health programme within the EU budget;
2. Increase financial resources allocated to the health portfolio within the Multi-annual Financial Framework to ensure the financial means for multi-sectoral health action;
3. Revise the EU research priorities and put common health challenges and health system strengthening at the heart of the research and innovation agenda, involving civil society actors.
Strengthen EU health action under the current mandate
4. Place European health agencies in a better position to fight common health challenges, by reinforcing the role of the
European Medicines Agency (EMA) and extending resources and mandate of the European Centre for Disease Prevention
and Control (ECDC) to tackle NCDs and communicable diseases;
5. Establish Health-in-all-Policies as the new normal in policymaking and providing more resources for the Commissioner for Health and her services to ensure coherence and consistency;
6. Prioritise and ensure systematic health impact assessment of EU policies to ensure their positive effect on improving wellbeing and health outcomes which are influenced by multiple determinants.
Re-think EU healthcare competencies and vision for the future
7. Implement the right to health enshrined in the EU Charter by defining its basic elements every European shall enjoy without prejudice and with equal conditions;
8. Develop a European Health Vision for care and prevention, with an EU roadmap to improve efficiency based on improved coordination among national health systems, preparedness, sustainability and minimum standards of care;
9. Convene an inclusive European debate aiming to strengthen the EU mandate on health.
The statement is also open for endorsements – the full statement and more information about how to get involved can be found on the buttons below.