EURACTIV PR

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Date

07 Sep 2009

Sections

Health & Consumers

Given the growing impact of the EU policies on hospitals and healthcare services, HOPE has adopted and disseminated a post-election statement to Members of the European Parliament. HOPE is drawing the European Parliament’s attention to three key policy priorities for EU action.

Public health i.e. health promotion and primary as well as secondary prevention, should remain the core of EU health-related policies and initiatives. A lot of work still needs to be done in this regard, in particular with new member states. The temptation to enlarge EU action beyond the public health agenda for focus on healthcare issues is a wrong approach, as there is a risk of dispersing efforts and reducing impact where EU action would be most beneficial.

Hospital and healthcare services are to be fully recognized as major contributors to economic development. In this time of crisis, it would also be counterproductive to cut services in hospital and healthcare services. It is capital to consider how EU funding programmes and in particular structural funds could support hospital and healthcare services to innovate and provide better healthcare and thus to contribute to the economic development.

The coherence of EU policies impacting on health and social care is to be increased. Different initiatives of the Commission are leading to fragmented approaches: hospital and healthcare on one side and social care on the other. There are serious contradictions in the design of some policies; particularly visible in the debates around mental health, around cross-border care, as well as around services of general interest and in particular social services of general interest. Handling those issues separately when the population is ageing and will need better coordination between all social and health activities would be a mistake.

Contact for further information:
HOPE Central Office
Pascal Garel
Tel: +32 (0)2 742 13 20
Email: sg@hope.be

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