On 1 February, the European Committee of the Regions’ Interregional Group on Health and Wellbeing (IRGHW) meet to discuss the work plan and topics for their meetings in 2024, in line with the CoR’s NAT Commission priorities and the IRGHW Work Programme 2020-2025.

Medicine shortages was raised as a high priority for this year, especially in view of the discussion on the CoR’s Opinion on “Medicines Shortages” in the first half of the year. The IRGHW Members stressed the need to further discuss the role of regions in facing ad tackling the challenge, with a close eye on procurement. Given the importance of the topic and the ongoing discussion within the NAT Commission, the members agreed to focus the first public meeting of the year, scheduled for 18 April, on the discussion on the medicines shortages.

Mental Health also came into the spotlight, with a special focus on children and young people. The IRGHW highlighted the importance of looking at the local dimension when it comes to mental health issues, with young people undergoing different kind of stressors depending on the are they live in.  Prevention has been confirmed as the main, more-efficient long-term strategy to improve mental health in the population. The IRGHW Members decided to debate on this topic at the meeting scheduled for 20 June or in a session during the European Week of Regions and Cities.

Attention was drawn also to the healthcare workforce, with some potential specific angles such as migration and retention, professional education and development, and the recognition of certifications and skills. The IRGHW agreed to explore if this topic can fit the overarching topics of the European Week of Regions and Cities, happening in the week of 7-11 October, and organise a session on it.

Among the topics for the last meeting of 2024, scheduled for 21 November, the IRGHW expressed their interest in deepening the topic of Antimicrobial Resistance.

For more detailed information, the minutes of the Constitutive Meeting as well as the CoR IRGHW Work Programme 2020-2025 are available via the buttons below.