The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) submitted its response to the on-line consultation of the European Commission (EC) on Global Health at the beginning of December 2009. The response elaborates on the questions outlined in the annex to an "issues paper" on global health produced by the EC. This article presents an executive summary of EPHA submitted response.
The on-line consultation of the European Commission had been open for a period of eight weeks, closing on 9 December 2009. The response from EPHA to this consultation is the first contribution to a European debate on Global Health, which is identified as priority under the Spanish Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2010.
The on-line consultation took the form of a questionnaire of 28 individual questions related to an “issues paper” published by the EC. It dealt with three main focuses in the area of global health:
global health and development cooperation,
research and development and global health, and
the impact of globalisation on health in the EU.
In its response, EPHA stated that:
"the concept of global health proposed by the EC is not exhaustive and should be complemented with issues of wider discrimination (not only gender), impact of globalisation (i.e. trade) on negative health determinants (tobacco, alcohol, diet, road traffic injuries) and their burden of disease, proliferation of global health initiatives, and securing global public goods from health improvements;"
"the impact of the global financial architecture on global health should be taken into account;"
"too little attention was given to additional challenges to progress towards the health-related MDGs and no explanation on how and why was provided. The MDG framework and EU actions therein, though still relevant, would need refinement and revitalisation;"
"the current EU policy on health and development cooperation lacks a uniform approach, target levels of health support within this framework, sufficient priority of EU development cooperation policy, coherence with other EU policies;"
"while highly cost-effective, the public health impact of prevention was not addressed at all;"
"additional innovative sources of financing have to be found in addition to the recognised provision of 15% of domestic finances and 0.1% of donor GNI provided for health;"
"concerted efforts are needed to strengthen and support community systems to facilitate their greater participation;"
"both´vertical´ and ´horizontal´ programmes and initiatives are needed;"
"to increase the level and to enhance the effectiveness of health aid from the EU, the EU position for the Third High Level Forum in Accra has to be implemented in full. Committed to and additional, predictable and innovative sources of finance have to be provided. The main opportunity herein is seen in Currency Transaction Levy;"
"the response to the current global crisis (climate change, food security, economic downturn) should not shift resources away from health, which is already in a critical state. Health should be given a sufficient priority and global health-crisis link should be recognised;"
"the issue of the brain drain of health workers should be adequately dealt with and a health workers recruitment code of conduct should be established;"
"new technologies have potential to enable developing countries access to health care;"
"regarding equitable access to medicines, EU aid and trade policies need to be coherent and complementary (in particular its IP policy, and research and development);"
"applying for research funding via the FP7 should be simplified to enable developing countries develop their national scientific capacity;"
"trade, agriculture and migration policies in the EU are the most incoherent with its development objectives and policies;"
"the legitimacy and efficiency of of the present global health governance could be improved by WHO taking the leadership herein."
EPHA contribution to the consultation was one of 104 submitted responses, all of which were published on the EC website.
EPHA response can be read here.