Europeans Health and Well-being in the shadow of Covid-19

Europeans Health and Well-being in the shadow of Covid-19

The European Commission today unveiled the successes of the European Health Union, an initiative born out of the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of putting Europeans health at the centre of EU policy.

The pandemic, the largest in a century, highlighted the vulnerability of global health systems and the suffering of millions. However, it also demonstrated the power of EU-wide collaboration. Thanks to the EU Vaccines Strategy, all EU citizens received life-saving vaccines simultaneously, proving the effectiveness of a unified approach.

Empowering Citizens through Crises and Beyond

Europeans Health and Well-being in the shadow of Covid-19The European Health Union emerged as a response to citizens’ calls for a more robust EU role in public health. It aims to bolster preparedness for future health crises while advancing modern and innovative healthcare for all. Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, comments in the following way:

“Over the last 5 years, the way we work and cooperate in the area of health has changed fundamentally. The unity and solidarity that emerged when faced with the most difficult health crisis in modern times has led to the creation of a strong European Health Union. Its every pillar and action have one purpose: to put citizens and patients at the centre, protect their health and change their lives. Our citizens rightfully expected more in the area of health, and we are delivering. We have transformed our vision into reality, and will continue to develop our Health Union for our citizens in the coming years.”

Initiatives for Europeans Health and Well-being

Substantial funding from the EU4Health programme has quickly translated these goals into tangible benefits for citizens:

  • Stronger Health Security: The EU is now better prepared to anticipate, respond to, and recover from health threats, thanks to strengthened legal frameworks, reinforced health agencies, and the new Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).
  • Equal Access to Affordable Medicines: Proposed reforms aim to give 70 million more EU citizens access to new medicines while maintaining a competitive pharmaceutical sector. The focus is on ensuring everyone has access to the medicines they need, when they need them.
  • World-Leading Cancer Plan: This plan is tackling cancer at every stage, from prevention to post-cancer care. With €4 billion in EU funding, it’s already making a difference for cancer patients across Europe.
  • Digitised Healthcare: The European Health Data Space (EHDS) will enable better healthcare access across the EU, fostering the use of data for life-changing medical research and development while respecting data protection rules.
  • Comprehensive Mental Health Action: Recognizing the importance of mental health, the EU is investing over €1.2 billion to promote well-being, improve prevention and support services, and combat stigma.
  • Patient Safety and Secure Medical Supply: Revised rules offer stronger protection for donors and recipients of substances like blood and cells. Measures are in place to prevent disruptions in the supply of critical medicines and devices.
  • One Health Approach: By recognizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, the EU is better positioned to tackle challenges like antimicrobial resistance and the impact of climate change on health.

The European Health Union, built upon solidarity and collaboration, continues to evolve, with more initiatives underway to safeguard the health and well-being of citizens across the EU.

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