EuroHealthNet, the European Partnership for Improving Health, Equity and Wellbeing welcomes the adoption of the new EC programme "Health for Growth" which emphasizes the importance of a healthy population as a prerequisite to a strong economy. The programme aims to make a significant contribution to the EU 2020 goals of productivity, competitiveness and a sustainable and inclusive growth. EuroHealthNet stresses however the need for continued specific action on reducing health inequalities within and between EU member States.
EuroHealthNet supports the new multi-annual 'Health for Growth' programme and its ambitions to contribute to healthy populations but at the same time it urges the EU and Member States not to forget the existing and growing rates of health inequalities amongst European citizens, which was confirmed by high level participants at the Equity Action conference last month. Sustainable health systems, as well as health promotion and disease prevention programmes must be sensitive to the needs of all people across all socioeconomic groups and guarantee that all Europeans have a fair chance to live a healthy and productive life.
"We welcome European Commission's ambitions to have health inequalities as a cross-cutting element throughout the health programme but we also want to emphasize the need for specific monitoring and follow up on the actions. It is of extreme importance to ensure that the annual work plans acknowledge this and adequate means and resources will be made available to proactively and specifically pursue the EU's ambitions of reducing health inequalities"said Caroline Costongs, EuroHealthNet's Managing Director.
Today, the European Parliament gathered in plenary session in Strasbourg and adopted the third multi-annual Programme for the EU's action in the field of health (2014-2020). The European Commission's "Health for Growth" programme, which builds on the outcomes of its two predecessors (covering the periods 2003-2008 and 2008-2013, respectively), will focus on fewer but more specific EU value added actions. As stated in the EU Treaty, the Programme will seek to support and complement the work of member states indeveloping innovative and sustainable health systems;increasing access to better and safer healthcare for EU citizens;preventing diseases and promoting health; andprotecting citizens from cross border health threats". The programme emphasizes the important link between healthy citizens and economic growth.
As part of its Strategic Development Plan 2014-2020, EuroHealthNet strives to keep health equity and the social determinants of health on the agenda and will do its best to support the European Union in its efforts to build a fairer and healthier future for all European citizens.