‘..This unprecedented budget of €5.1 billion will enable us to make targeted investments to enhance our crisis preparedness and build stronger, more resilient and more accessible health systems…’
The European Commission has welcomed the start of its EU4Health programme; which will see €5.1 billion invested to strengthen the resilience of health systems and promote innovation in the health sector.
The European Commission said that EU4Health will make a ‘significant contribution to the post-covid-19 recovery’ by making the EU population healthier, supporting the fight against cross border health threats and boosting the blocs preparedness and capability to respond to future health threats. EU4Health 2021-, is said to be the largest ever EU health programme in monetary terms, and will provide funding to Member States, health organisation and NGOs.
The programme’s actions include creating reserves of medical supplies, as well as a reserve of healthcare staff and experts who can be mobilised in response to a health threat. EU4Health will also adopt disease prevention and health promotion for the ageing population, and make medicine and medical devices available and affordable, as well as advocating the prudent and efficient use of antimicrobials. It will also promote medical and pharmaceutical innovation and greener manufacturing.
EU4Health will be implemented mainly by the Commission through direct management. A new Health and Digital Executive Agency, which becomes operation on 1 April 2021, will be tasked with the roll-out and management of the annual work programmes.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said ‘…This unprecedented budget of €5.1 billion will enable us to make targeted investments to enhance our crisis preparedness and build stronger, more resilient and more accessible health systems. This is what our citizens expect from a European Health Union.’
Meanwhile, the UK Government has said that it is to establish an Office for Health Promotion. It will be responsible for leading national efforts to ‘improve and level up the public’s health.’ Actions will focus on tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity. There will also be an emphasis on tackling the top preventable risk factors causing death and ill health in the UK. This new Office which will be established during autumn 2021; will be led by an appointee who will report to the Government’s Health Secretary and the Chief Medical Officer.