In mid-February, the constitutive meetings of EUREGHA’s Working Groups took place in an online setting. The WG Digital Transformation got together on 14 February, the WG Cross-border Healthcare on 15 February, and the WG Cancer on 21 February, in order to share important initiatives and set their priorities for this year. In this article, you will find the summarized outcomes of each Working Group constitutive meeting.
Working Group on Digital Transformation
This working group is a relatively new initiative in response to rapid developments in the field of digital health on the tails of the pandemic, and the nascent development of the European Health Data Space (EHDS). Several members highlighted the lack of details when it comes to IT, data quality, and secondary use of data in the proposed EHDS. In the meantime, members are encouraged to share best practices on collection and use of health data, which will eventually be bundled into a best practices booklet. The European Health Data Space will be the main priority throughout 2023, and the aim is to publish a position paper later in the year, compiled of members’ opinions and issues that should be considered for the final version of the legislation.
Working Group on Cross-border Healthcare
The cross-border healthcare working group has been running for several years now as one of EUREGHA’s core focus topics. This informal group was established for EUREGHA members to meet and exchange best practices, knowledge, information, and expertise on cross-border cooperation in healthcare. The wider aim is to facilitate knowledge sharing among regions and to improve the network’s advocacy, policy, and project actions at the EU level. One point of discussion was the potential relaunch of the Thematic network “Healthcare in cross-border regions” on the EU Health Policy platform. In addition, several members shared interesting initiatives they are working on related to cross-border health, such as environmental health and cross-border cooperation partnerships.
Working Group on Cancer
Cancer is also one of EUREGHA’s key focus topics, with lots of policy initiatives and attention at EU level as well as local levels. EUREGHA members are highly engaged on the topic and tend to follow legislative developments closely, such as in the framework of the EU Beating Cancer Plan and the updated Cancer Screening Recommendation. It was also mentioned that the Comprehensive Cancer Network is the core of important EU -level reform and the EU4health programme, making it an excellent potential starting point for several future collaborations. Demonstrating the WG’s utility as an avenue for knowledge sharing, Northern Ireland said their main challenge is to allocate sufficient resources (workforce) and funding for cancer screenings and asked for tips or best practices in this area. Their request was met with enthusiasm by Veneto region, which has strong focus on screening and prevention initiatives and is happy to share insights.
The three working groups are scheduled to meet twice more, once in the spring and another time in the autumn period. Keep an eye on our website and communication channels for further updates throughout the year.