The 2014-2020 EU Health Programme Conference took place the last 30thSeptember in Brussels. It was opened by Véronique Wasbauer, Director of the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA), followed by a welcome address from Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. He provided a brief overview of the third EU Health Programme, set up in 2014, with the focus on supporting and adding value to Member State policies. He referred to the Programme as a “Dream machine – that turns ideas into actions that benefit EU citizens.”
The Health Programme is structured around four objectives:
– promoting health, preventing diseases and fostering supportive environments for healthy lifestyles;
– protecting citizens from cross-border health threats
– contributing to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems
– facilitating access to better and safer healthcare for citizens of the European Union.
The attention was centred in the second morning session on future EU funding for health. It took the form of a round table chaired by the Director General of DG Santé, with the participation of five Deputy or Directors-General of the European Social Fund +, Health Research in Horizon Europe, Digital Health in Horizon Europe, the Structural Reform Support Service, and the European Regional Development Fund. From 2021 onwards, the EU Health Programme will be integrated into the European Social Fund Plus and its priorities will be to protect citizens, foster medical research and innovation, reform healthcare systems, improving health infrastructure, and health digital transformation. The afternoon was divided into parallel sessions highlighting several successful projects from each of the four above objectives.
The YOUNG50 #Stay Healthy – Cardiovascular risk prevention team provided an e-poster for the event which was on display in the exhibition area throughout the event.
The Conference was very well attended and provided an opportunity to showcase some of the particularly successful completed and ongoing projects and actions from the current and past Programme, notably in the areas of e-Health, European Reference Networks (ERNs), health threats, preventive care, and the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). It was likewise an ideal platform for networking and awareness raising.