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Buskerud (NO) has officially joined EUREGHA

We are delighted to announce that the  Buskerud County Authority has officially joined EUREGHA and is now a full member. The Norwegian region is now fully on board and we are very much looking forward to working together on shared interests and priorities.

We are convinced Buskerud will benefit from the cooperation among European regional and local authorities provided through EUREGHA, especially in a moment when key priorities and objectives for the public health sector are being redefined and new financial programmes revised for the future programming period. At the same time, EUREGHA and all its members will be able to learn from new good practices and ways to face common challenges through fruitful exchanges and discussions. Together, we will make sure the highest quality of health and social care services are delivered to people in Norway and across the EU, ensuring better, local and faster access to health care.

EUREGHA is increasingly growing as a reference network and is establishing closer and stronger collaborations with EU institutions and other relevant stakeholders. In a critical moment of important decisions and negotiations over the future of Europe beyond 2020, EUREGHA is making the voice of regional and local health authorities heard by advocating for the important role of regions in shaping the future of health in Europe and seeking collaborations with all the key stakeholders in the field. To this end, the network has just launched a campaign to reinforce the coordinated action at EU level in the health domain, particularly where the EU added value is demonstrated. A thorough description of EUREGHA's position and its recently-launched #HealthinAllRegions campaign is available here. Any interested stakeholder or public authority is invited to join the campaign by signing the paper and spreading the word through any relevant channel.

EUREGHA as a discussant at the 20th NAT Commission meeting

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On Monday 1 October EUREGHA Vice-chair Toni Dedeu participated as a discussant in the 20th NAT Commission meeting at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). On this occasion, NAT Commission members discussed the topic of digital health together with Fernando LÓPEZ MIRAS (EPP/ES), rapporteur of the 
CoR opinion on the European Commission Communication on the Transformation of Health and Care in the Digital Single Market

The Communication aims to promote health, prevent and control diseases, help address the patients' unfulfilled needs and make it easier for citizens to have equal access to high quality care through the meaningful use of digital innovations.

During the NAT Commission meeting, EUREGHA provided inputs to the rapporteur of the CoR opinion and showcased EUREGHA member regions’ good practices in the field of eHealth.

Main points raised by the rapporteur:

New challenges are rising in Europe, such as ageing population, more chronic diseases and multimorbidity. This calls for the development and implementation of new care models: patient-centred, integrated, accessible, deinstitutionalised, and effective health care.

A more efficient use of economic and health resources is needed to ensure sustainable health systems and digital transformation is key to:

  • Securing access of citizens to their health data through the use of a European Electronic Health Record and further improving cross-border health care. Especially in the case of cross-border care, specific measures must be taken to remove obstacles to interoperability;
  • Creating better databases to promote prevention, research, and personalised medicine;
  • Developing digital tools for the empowerment of patients and person-centred care.

The rapporteur also supports the European Commission  Genomic Cooperation initiative and the  European Reference Networks (ERNs). He added that options for a single identification of genomic data, e.g. through blockchain, could be further explored through the ERNs. The CoR opinion will also highlight the importance of improving citizens’ digital literacy and enhancing training opportunities for health professionals.

Finally, the European Committee of the Regions calls on the European Commission to take into account not only the views of the Member States, but also local and regional authorities’ opinions and experiences, as they play a key role in the provision of health care services and in the scaling up of best practices. In order to fully achieve the digital transformation of the health care field, more source of financing for pilot studies in the digital field should also be provided, as Member States and EU regions must work together and in partnership with the EU institutions.

After the rapporteur’s remarks, Mr Dedeu, EUREGHA Vice-Chair, took the floor and provided inputs to the NAT Commission members by mentioning a number of regional best practices in the field of eHealth:

·  Emilia-Romagna Region (IT) - The Emilia Romagna ehealth infrastructure is based on a eHealth network (SOLE), the Regional Health Record (HER) and the Personal Health Record (PHR). The aim is to create an integrated network of local health trusts, hospitals, general practitioners and paediatricians and to provide, through the Electronic Health Record (EHR), the clinical history of every citizen in the region. The region is also partner of the ACTIVAGE project;

· Flanders (BE) - Within the Benelux context (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) expertise and know-how have been exchanged and agreements were made to practically and legally share data across borders. Moreover, to facilitate citizens’ easy mobile access to their health data, the Flanders Agency for Care and Health is currently supporting the setup of a mobile accessible website for each citizen to consult – MyHealthViewer. Finally, in order to stimulate care givers to share data, Vitalink, the digital platform of the Flemish authority, allows the sharing of care and well-being data in a safe way;

· Catalonia (ES) - PADRIS, the Health Analytics Programme for Research and Innovation of Catalonia. Thanks to this programme, the scientific community can reuse and cross-reference the data generated by the integrated health system of Catalonia, which gives a significant boost to research, innovation and evaluation in health;

· Scotland (UK) - Implementation of Technology Enabled Care (TEC programme). The programme was set up with the aim of accelerating the implementation of digital interventions which had a sufficient evidence base, particularly in home and community settings;

· Tuscany (IT) - The “Electronic Health Card” (EHC) project aims to assist and facilitate connections between citizens, the Regional Health Service and the Public Administration. The main outcome of the project was the creation of the PERSONAL HEALTH RECORD (PHR), a digital collection of health data, information and clinical documents of patients provided by health services with the consent of patients  and accessible to patients and health professionals;

·  Buskerud (NO) - The Digital Night Surveillance Project, IoT-based monitoring technology was developed and successfully implemented in public healthcare services. Benefits were realized for the patients, the relatives and the partners in the network and the novel IoT technology disrupted established workflows in the care services.

Mr Dedeu emphasised the importance of embedding digital health in the planning of regional strategies. He also underlined that it is more appropriate to talk about person-centred care rather than patient-centred care, as using the word “person” also includes promotion and prevention activities, which are key to creating effective, accessible and resilient health systems and healthy societies. Finally, he highlighted that the digital transformation shall empower citizens to manage their own care and interact more easily with health providers.

EUREGHA within the #EURegionsWeek 2018

euwrc 2018We are excited to announce that, together with the  European Committee of the Regions’ Interregional Group on Health and Well-being, EUREGHA will organise the high-level event “Global Challenges, Territorial Answers: the Future of Health in Europe” on 9 October 2018 within the context of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2018.

The #EURegionsWeek is an annual Brussels-based four-day event during which officials from regions and cities’ administrations, as well as experts and academics, can exchange good practices and know-how in the field of regional and urban development. It is also an acknowledged platform for political communication in relation to the development of the EU Cohesion Policy, raising the awareness of decision-makers about the fact that regions and cities matter in EU policy-making.

Under the headline 'For a strong EU Cohesion Policy beyond 2020', this year’s over 170 workshops, sessions and debates will revolve around key topics such as the Cohesion Policy and the important role played by regional and local authorities in its implementation, the ongoing discussions about the post-2020 EU budget, and the importance of building strong partnerships between the EU institutions and the subnational level for good European governance.

flyer EWRCAbout our workshop:

Within the #EURegionsWeek EUREGHA is organizing a high-level event in cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions’ Interregional Group on Health and Well-being and the European Committee of the Regions’ Commission for Natural Resources (NAT).

Distinguished speakers such as Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, Member of the European Parliament (ENVI Committee), Birgitta Sacrédeus, member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and Chair of the CoR Interregional Group on Health and Well-being, Leen Meulenbergs, the World Health Organisation Representative to the EU, will discuss the role of the health sector as an important driver underpinning all European policies. Improving the quality of life of all Europeans and building a stronger, fairer and more inclusive European Union which leaves no one behind is essential to moving forward in the integration process and regional and local health authorities play a fundamental role in this.

Against this backdrop, the event aims to show the clear added value of European policies and programmes in improving public health and healthcare services across the EU at territorial level, with a focus on the Cohesion Policy.

Find the latest version of the agenda here.

Registrations are open until 28 September at the event website here.

Please note that the session capacity is limited and advance registration is required. On-the-spot registration will not be possible. So, be quick to register and secure your place and join us for a week full of networking and learning opportunities at the next #EURegionsWeek!

And last but not least, do not forget to follow us on Twitter at @EUREGHA!

Austria takes over the Presidency of the Council of the EU

On 1 July 2018 Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov officially handed over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. As holder of the Presidency, Austria will contribute significantly to the legislative and political work of the Council for the next 6 months.

As the last member of the current “trio presidency” (Estonia, Bulgaria, Austria), Austria will have to work on a large number of complex and challenging dossiers, e.g. internal and external security, protection of external borders, reform of the Common European Asylum System, Digital Single Market, Energy Union, 2019 budget, post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, EU enlargement, European neighbourhood and conclusion of the negotiations about the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit).

After Austria, the next trio presidency will take over: Romania (first half of 2019), Finland (second half of 2019) and Croatia (first half of 2020).

During the Plenary session of the European Parliament held in Strasbourg on 3 July, Chancellor Kurz formally presented the key priorities of the Presidency and highlighted that the major mission will be “reducing tensions by bringing people together”, as Austria intends to be a “bridge builder”.

Mr Kurz informed the European Parliament that the Presidency will mainly focus on three key areas:
  • Building a “Europe that protects” and making sure that all Europeans feel protected against all kinds of threats;
  • Protecting European welfare systems by boosting competitiveness and making significant progress in the areas of automation and digitalization;
  • Looking at what the EU can do outside its borders to ensure stability, peace, and security in neighbouring countries
Finally, Mr Kurz announced that the Austrian Presidency will also work towards the EU accession for the Western Balkan countries.

As far as the health sector is concerned, Vienna is going to focus on 3 dossiers:

Download the full programme of the Austrian Presidency here

For further information about the Presidency, upcoming activities and how the Council works, you can visit the official website www.eu2018.at or the Council of the EU webpage

Next Meeting of the CoR Interregional Group on Health and Well-being

The next meeting of the Committee of the Regions Interregional Group on Health & Well-being will take place on Thursday 5 July at 8h00-9h00 at the Committee of the Regions building, room JDE 60.

EUREGHA, acting as the Secretariat of the group, is delighted to announce the topic of the upcoming meeting:

“Big data and the health sector: the way forward”

The event will involve a presentation by Mr Arnaud Senn, European Commission DG CNECT, on the use of big data and their potential for the future of health in the EU, and a presentation of a regional best practice delivered by Mr Toni Dedeu, Director at the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia, focusing on health data analytics for research and innovation.

The healthcare industry produces large amounts of clinical, financial, administrative, and genomic data. Making best use of these data is key in order to improve patient outcomes, enhance clinical decision support and models of personalised medicine. In line with the recently-published European Commission Communication on “Transformation of Health and Care in the Digital Single Market”, it is now of paramount importance to enhance the digitalization of the health care sector across the EU in order to take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

To this end, the Communication identifies three main priorities around which activities must be developed at local, regional, national, and European level:

  • Securing data access and sharing
  • Pooling health data for research, faster diagnosis and improved health
  • Digital tools and data for citizen empowerment and person-centred health care

Against this backdrop, the aim of the meeting is to present the main advantages of the use of big data in the health and care sector and give the floor to regional experiences and viewpoints on the matter. 

The meeting will conclude with a contribution by Professor Josep Redón, Head of the Internal Medicine Institute, University Clinic Hospital of Valencia on the use of big data to tackle non-communicable chronic diseases.

To review the agenda, please follow this link

If you are interested in attending the event, you can register at this link by Thursday 28 June 2018

Should you need any further information, do not hesitate to send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

EUREGHA Public Newsletter