EPHA reacts to today’s EU Commission’s proposal for a Social Investment Package for Growth and Cohesion (1)
Brussels, 20 February – The package provides policy guidance to EU Member States on better invest in human capital, people’s future and social infrastructure. The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) (2) applauds this initiative as it aims to equip people living in Europe with the right tools and skills to face today’s challenges whilst addressing the social impact of the crisis. This is a breakthrough in tackling the current waste of human potential, as it dispels the misconception that social protection systems are a burden to the economy and strengthens prospects of recovery by enabling individuals to bounce back.
"If we are to achieve better spending, not only constrain it, solidarity and equity should underpin structural reforms as a way to lay the foundations for a sustainable society," said Monika Kosińska, EPHA’s Secretary General.
In these times of crisis, Europe needs to count on a healthy and productive workforce to enable it to return to growth and reach Europe 2020 targets.
"To say that current policy responses to the economic crisis are letting down Europe’s most vulnerable would be an understatement," said Ms Kosińska. "Social protection enables society to take off in times of uncertainty. The Commission’s proposal ticks the right boxes especially where it advises boosting health care investment (3) and recommends to further alleviate child poverty (4). The link between poverty and worsening health outcomes (5) must be taken more seriously."
“EU leaders need to be bold when championing children’s physical, emotional and social development – the saying that today’s children are tomorrow’s future never wears off,” pointed out Ms Kosińska.
Significant reductions in healthcare budgets risk creating new inefficiencies, undermining access and quality of care, and damaging health outcomes. The Commission’s proposals on promoting good health (6), employment in the health sector (7), and reducing health inequalities (8) demonstrate the holistic approach needed to put Europe back on track to balanced economic development. Health promotion and disease prevention are value for money as they reduce long-term treatment costs.
"Well thought-through investments in health will make public care sustainable. Member states need to be bold in moving away from business-as-usual if they want to achieve a positive impact on the ground," concluded Ms Kosinska.
- Notes to Editors
(2) EPHA is a change agent – Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health. We are a dynamic member-led organisation, made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals, and disease groups working together to improve health and strengthen the voice of public health in Europe.
(3) European Commission Staff working paper on Investing in Health accompanying the Social Investment Package for Growth and Cohesion.
(5) ATD 4th World, Caritas, Coface, EAPN, European Social Network, Eurochild, Eurodiaconia and PICUM developed recommendations - Child Poverty and Well-being and a implementation roadmap.
(7) From 2008-2011 2.5 million jobs were lost within the EU. During the same period, the health sector generated 2.8 million jobs. The European Centre for Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFP) estimates that within the health there will be up to eight million job vacancies by 2020.
Javier Delgado Rivera, EPHA Communications Coordinator, Tel.: +32 2 233 38 76, email@example.com
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