EPF proposes a progressive and patient-centred EU4HEALTH programme

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, attention has been turned towards enhanced European collaboration to ensure our health systems emerge from it stronger, more prepared and more people-centred. EPF believes this is a move in the right direction as health is not only a national matter – it is an urgent European and global health policy priority. 
There are high expectations for the new EU4Health programme, which will be implemented as of January 2021. This leaves European institutions with little time to come to an agreement and to finalise the programme. In our view the new standalone programme on health proposed by the European Commission earlier this year represents an opportunity to build stronger, patient-centred, health systems that can provide care to all, under all circumstances. The programme also signifies a unique opportunity for a more robust European public health policy.
With the EU4Health programme, EPF strongly supports the increased investment in health at European level. This is an important recognition of the need to invest in Europe’s health.  Further improvement towards a more patient-centred health programme as proposed by the European Parliament, is in EPF’s view a very positive and promising step forward. 
We regret however the decision of the European Council to drastically cut funds from the EU4Health programme which undeniably implies an important setback for health at European level.  It is regrettable in our view that Member States have not grasped the opportunity presented to collectively do more on health, delivering on expectations clearly voiced by citizens and patients.

Despite this disappointing setback, the EU4Health programme still represents a unique chance for enhanced European coordination to protect our health. We believe that ambition for the programme must be upheld despite the significantly reduced budget compared to what was initially proposed.

EPF counts on the Council, Parliament and Commission to consider our proposals highlighted within this statement in continued negotiations. We invite policy makers to also consult EPF’s complementary vision for the future of health in the EU, published in May.

Read our full statement hereStatement - EPF proposes progressive, patient-centred EU4Health programme (15.09.2020).pdf