On Wednesday March 24th, the European Commission’s administration for Health and Food Safety, DG SANTE, hosted the ‘EU4Health programme 2021: potential solutions for a healthier European Union’ workshop, looking to further explore the potential solutions for EU-wide health challenges under the four strands of the Programme by gathering stakeholders feedback.
With a budget of 5,1 billion EUR, the brand new EU4Health programme, which runs from 2021 until 2027, will be one of the main instruments of the European Commission to implement its policy objectives in the area of health. During the first plenary session, Matthew Hudson, the Director of Resource Management and Better Regulation with DG SANTE, gave a state of play of the EU4Health programme, informing the participants on the actions and the timing for finalising the programme's governance, legal basis and work plan.
Subsequently, Mr Hudson expanded on EU4Health’s priorities and stressed how the programme is a tool to implement policy. He highlighted that disease prevention and health promotion will be one of the priorities and that at least 20% of the programme's funding will be dedicated to this area. Artur Furtado, who takes a lead on disease prevention for DG SANTE, expanded on this priority and stressed the importance of prevention in the fight against non-communicable diseases, which are the main cause of Europe’s disease burden and healthcare costs. The EU4Health programme will strive to increase the amount of resources going to disease prevention, which currently only make up 3% of current health budgets in Europe. Mr Furtado also emphasised the link between the prevention priority and the EU’s Beating Cancer plan, which is a clear priority for the Commission.
After the plenary sessions dedicated to the EU4Health programme’s policy priorities, the participants had the opportunity to join different stakeholder roundtables to debate the different elements of the programme in more details. The outcomes of this debates were summarized during the final plenary session, after which Mr Hudson made the concluding remarks and thanked everyone for their participation.