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Young Europeans Want Healthcare Policy To Cross Borders

Young Europeans Want Healthcare Policy To Cross Borders

Brussels, 16 June 2015 – Greater EU involvement and more Member State cooperation in healthcare is called for in a book of future-proof recommendations launched today by the European Health Parliament, the pan-European platform of 80 young healthcare experts.

At an event held with Members of the European Parliament, the European Health Parliament members presented their proposals together with evidence-based research as well as step-by-step solutions for providing better European healthcare that rightly meets the needs of patients. The young experts have proposed a series of political and practical actions in seven critical areas. Among their recommendations are included:

  • Cross-border health threats: as shown by the Ebola epidemic, diseases do not stop at national borders, therefore healthcare systems should be equally cross-national and strengthened through EU institutional support to prevent disease and protect European citizens. The EU and Member States must develop a public framework for disease intervention and a proactive vaccination plan.
  • Big data in healthcare: the European Health Parliament proposes the creation of a new European wide connected Electronic Health Records Organisation that empowers patients through the collection and use of patients’ data across EU Member States, which will lead to better health outcomes for patients and payers irrespective of national borders.
  • Access to new therapies: the European Health Parliament has designed a ‘matrix’ aimed at defining the level of EU intervention required to enhance access to innovative therapies. By assessing medical unmet needs and access issues, the matrix identifies where national and EU action on a specific disease area may be most appropriate.

Also covered by the European Health Parliament are recommendations related to patient empowerment, the prevention of chronic disease, as well as the economic and technological dimensions of health. At the launch, European Health Parliament President, Magdalena Kalata from Poland, said:

“Health remains very much a competence for national governments yet people are moving within the EU like never before. National politicians need to consider that in some instances, we need more EU involvement, more resourcing and more coordination to guarantee all EU citizens in all EU member states the access to standardised quality healthcare that they deserve - whichever member state they happen to be in.”

Members of the European Parliament attending today’s launch in the Parliament Building included Philippe De Backer (BE; ALDE), Margrete Auken (DK; Greens/EFA), Cristian Busoi (RO; EPP), Charles Goerens (LU; ALDE), Karin Kadenbach (AU; S&D), Eva Kaili (GR; S&D), Katerina Konecna (CZ; GUE/NGL), Giovanni La Via (IT; EPP) and Victor Negrescu (RO; S&D).

De Backer, who has been championing the European Health Parliament since its beginnings, made clear:

"Politicians need to listen up. The European Health Parliament members are among the professionals who will be driving and delivering our healthcare in the future. A design for life should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few. The ball is on our court now to ensure for this.”

Today marked the finale of the European Health Parliament, which has pooled a rich mix of young experts from pharmaceuticals, government and foreign embassies, banking and insurance institutions, NGOs, think tanks and academia, industry associations as well as on-the-ground medical practitioners including flying nurses and doctors, among many others. Their recommendations will be shared with EU28 policy makers and the healthcare community.

About the European Health Parliament

Launched in November 2014, the European Health Parliament is a platform for 80 young Europeans to brainstorm ways in which to make Europe a healthier place and re-think the European healthcare system.

The initiative is supported by the College of Europe, Google, Janssen, EU40 and Politico.


Some Key figures

  • 50% of children born today in the developed world can expect to live to be 100.
  • The number of people in Europe suffering from late stage Alzheimer’s is expected to more than double over the next 40 years, from 3.2 million to 7.5 million.
  • Overall, cancer incidence is expected to grow by half a million new cases over the next decade - an increase of 16%.
  • Chronic diseases affect more than 80% of people aged over 65.
  • Across all European economies, productivity losses due to the impact of chronic conditions continue to rise, with the prevalence of disability or illness averaging 14% for the working-age population.
  • An estimated 70-80% of healthcare costs are currently spent on chronic diseases (approximately €700 billion in the EU)
  • Average healthcare spending could rise from just under 7% of GDP to almost 9% of GDP by 2060.