EUREGHA has responded to the public consultation on the EU4Health programme. While acknowledging the significant efforts made by the European Commission, EUREGHA emphasized the need for greater attention to several key areas that it believes require improvement. 

One crucial aspect is the support provided to enhance the resilience of health systems and the healthcare workforce. With simultaneous efforts underway for the Year of Skills and Pact for Skills, it is essential to ensure the overall resilience of health systems, particularly in the realm of Digital Health. This is of utmost importance, considering the groundwork required for the implementation of the European Health Data Space and the evaluation of national and subnational readiness. 

Disease prevention and health promotion are also areas where EUREGHA emphasizes the need for action. To address health inequalities and promote healthy lifestyles, improved access to healthcare is imperative. Our members suggest strengthening cooperation with subnational levels, especially for disease prevention and access to healthcare, while advocating for increased support for knowledge exchange and the implementation of best practices in the field. 

Crisis preparedness is another critical concern raised by EUREGHA. The importance of implementing preparedness and response plans and building surveillance and monitoring capacity at regional and local levels should be considered more. To achieve this, EUREGHA suggests including the subnational level in all preparedness plans, recognizing regions’ vital role in effective crisis management. 

Regarding accessibility to medical products and devices, EUREGHA believes that cooperation with and between subnational levels is necessary to ensure the safety, accessibility, and affordability of high-quality medicinal products and devices. Additionally, we call for support in the management, procurement, and stockpiling of critical crisis-relevant products, supplementing national stockpiles through partnerships with other stakeholders. 

Lastly, members call for support for regional and local health authorities and related networks, such as EUREGHA itself, in implementing EU health legislation at the local level. Feedback from these authorities can inform future policy development, this is also why it is of vital importance to include Operating Grants for NGOs in future EU4Health Work Programmes, to finance essential NGOs that bring together key stakeholders in health. 

In conclusion, EUREGHA’s response to the public consultation on the EU4Health programme underscores the need for improvement in various areas. By enhancing the resilience of health systems, addressing health inequalities, strengthening crisis preparedness, improving accessibility to medical products, supporting data sharing, and involving regional and local health authorities, the EU can advance its health agenda and promote better health outcomes for its citizens.

Have a look at our consultation response.