On 14 November, the EU Health Coalition published a vision for European health, supported by a set of concrete recommendations and policy proposals designed to make it happen. The Coalition is a multi-stakeholder initiative exploring the future of healthcare in Europe. The recommendations were officially launched in Brussels at the third EU Health Summit: Towards an EU Health Union.
It is time to think big. The EU Health Coalition’s vision is of a Europe where health and care systems are without siloes and centred on people and patients. Building on the learnings from the global pandemic, we strongly believe that health and life sciences should represent the third strategic pillar of Europe, for a true EU Health Union to be realised.
We long for a Europe that takes a life-course approach to health – with a joined-up focus on health promotion, disease prevention and overall well-being – as well as on advancing the treatment, management, and cure of diseases.
We want a system that works to address unmet health and medical needs and fights every day to reduce health inequalities across society. We envision modern integrated services anchored in a value- and outcomes-based approach to health system organisation, financing, and management.
To deliver this vision, the EU Health Coalition proposes the following recommendations to EU policymakers which we believe are practical and balanced, bold and achievable and need to be implemented now:
Digital transformation: At this unprecedented moment of change, we must ensure that the European Health Data Space (EHDS) is designed to collect standardised data; that investment is made in digital infrastructure and skills; and that the EU embraces a common approach required to make Europe a world-class AI hub.
Health system integration: To support continuity of care within Member States and across EU borders, we call for EU health policies and programmes to strengthen and measure the implementation of integrated care and Health in All Policies. This should be supported by a dedicated report on ‘EU Health Systems Integration’ in the ‘State of Health in the EU’ process.
Boosting research & innovation: For European citizens to benefit from a strong R&I ecosystem, the EU must invest in human, intellectual and innovation capital; ensure alignment between the EU Industrial and Pharmaceutical Strategies; and drive patient-centric development of preventative and therapeutic tools which address patients’’ unmet medical needs.
Access to innovation: To support patient access to the fruits of research, the EU should establish a monitoring centre for innovative health technologies and clinical practices; support patient-centric and outcomes-based approaches to healthcare; and view healthcare expenditure as an investment not a cost.
Our health is our wealth
The EU Health Coalition supports the development of an EU Health Union. This underpins our call for public health and the health sector being considered in all EU policies and that health and life sciences be recognised as the third strategic pillar for Europe alongside the green and digital transitions.
Today, as Europe faces a geopolitical and energy crisis, with rising inflation and a looming recession creating new challenges for Member States, we should remind ourselves that health is wealth. Our health systems are precious assets which we must nurture and protect. It is time for Europe to prepare its health systems for a brighter future for the patients of today and tomorrow.
Read the recommendations in full
About the EU Health Coalition
The EU Health Coalition – of which EBC is a partner – is composed of 43 patient organisations, EU research-oriented medical societies, industry organisations, healthcare providers, regional and local health authorities and other relevant stakeholders, who all share a common vision. To find out more about the work of the EU Health Coalition, please visit our website www.euhealthcoalition.eu