Leaked Draft Council Conclusions on Strengthening the European Health Union: Priorities and Strategies

The leaked draft conclusions emphasise strengthening the European Health Union by addressing priority healthcare needs, enhancing healthcare innovation, improving workforce strategies, and leveraging digital technologies and data for better healthcare outcomes.

The document reflects the EU's strategic vision for a more resilient and sustainable healthcare system. It recognises the challenges posed by non-communicable and communicable diseases (NCDs), the rapid evolution of digital health technologies, and the need for coordinated efforts at the EU level to address health workforce shortages and improve health outcomes. The draft conclusions will be discussed during the next EPSCO meeting, scheduled on 21 June 2024.

The key insights from the draft document include:

  1. Healthcare Workforce: The document outlines the need for a comprehensive EU approach to the health workforce, considering strategies for recruitment, retention and training. The importance of mental and physical health of healthcare workers and their working conditions is emphasised. There is a need for lifelong training, including digital competencies and leadership skills.
  2. Non-Communicable and Communicable Diseases: The draft highlights the importance of addressing non-communicable diseases through comprehensive strategies encompassing health promotion, preventive interventions, and effective disease management. They also emphasize the critical role of evidence-based prevention and management of communicable diseases to ensure scientifically validated and effective interventions in controlling and reducing the spread of infections.
  3. MDR: The Council emphasises the importance of collaboration to address environmental requirements. It calls on the European Commission to examine challenges posed by the implementation of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and the In-Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation (IVDR). Additionally, it encourages a strategic approach to stockpiling for cross-border health emergencies and proposes a roadmap for addressing environmental risks in device manufacturing. The Council also invites Member States to continue efforts to enhance access to innovative medical devices and assess the need for financial aid to support sustainable production within the EU.
  4. Digital Health and Data: The digital health part emphasises the role of digital technologies, such as telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, in improving healthcare outcomes. They also address the ethical and societal challenges of AI, underscoring the need for coordinated action to leverage these technologies responsibly.
  5. AMR: The draft Council conclusions also underscore the urgency of addressing AMR by implementing a One Health approach that comprehensively integrates efforts across human, animal, and environmental health sectors. They emphasise the need for education for healthcare providers and the public on appropriate antibiotic usage and implementing policies to regulate antibiotic prescriptions.
  6. Security of Supply for Medicinal Products: The conclusions also highlight the need to ensure stable supply chains for essential medicines. The Council recognises that this involves a multifaceted approach, including diversifying sourcing, stockpiling essential medications, and investing in domestic production.

Date: 02/07/2024 | Tag: | News: 1593 of 1596
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