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Joint pro-Roma civil society contribution to the public consultation on access to health services in the EU

The European Commission and the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health (EXPH) have launched a public consultation on the preliminary opinion on the ‘Access to health services in the European Union’. EPHA facilitated a joint submission of EPHA Roma Health Fellows and pro-Roma NGOs in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia participating in the ’Together for Better Health’ consortium on the Roma relevant part of the preliminary opinion. Joint pro-Roma (...)

Cross-border Healthcare report reveals implementation gaps, uncovers lacking knowledge of patient rights

A new EPHA report examines the progress of the implementation of the 2011 Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare (2011/24/EU). Following the European Commission’s own first review of the operation of the Directive, EPHA’s report calls for actions to ensure that the Directive does not exacerbate health inequalities by only working in favour of well-to-do patients and Member States. Among other measures this will entail tailored and (...)

New EU International Trade Strategy fails to guarantee health protection

The European Commission has published today its proposal for a new EU Strategy on Trade. The proposed new Strategy, which should set out the EU approach to new international trade deals, including with Asia, falls short of providing safeguards to ensure that European national health services will be protected from threats to public funding or that quality will not be put at risk. Public health campaigners including EPHA insist that trade agreements should not undermine either the quality (...)

Making Roma Health a priority – from formal statements to specific indicators

According to the EU founding treaty, ensuring human health and promoting solidarity towards equitable and universal coverage of quality health services should be part of all EU policies. That health should be a priority for EU policies is also confirmed by the Europe 2020 Strategy, which states that a healthy population is essential for achieving growth for all in a smart, sustainable and inclusive EU economy. But what are the challenges of making health a priority at national level in the (...)

EU Migration Agenda - ’Right step in right direction’ or stumbling block for universal access to healthcare?

A CEPS lunchtime seminar held at the University of Maastricht’s Brussels campus shed light, from different angles, on the recently released European Agenda on Migration by critically examining some of its features, including the Commission’s plan to distribute asylum seekers across the EU Member States, the use of military power to combat people smugglers, and managing different types of migration. Overall, the Agenda’s narrow take on migration complicates achieving the (...)

[Open Letter] to the EU Ministers of Health

In a joint letter ahead of the 19 June EPSCO Council debate on migrant health, EPHA, Medecins du Monde (link) and PICUM (link), addressed the Council to ask for action and policy commitment to universal access to healthcare and its paramount importance in addressing health inequalities. The letter, signed by a group of umbrella networks and grassroots organisations from across the EU, drew attention to the fact that improvements in access to healthcare for asylum seekers, undocumented (...)

Correcting health workforce imbalances: What coordinating role for the EU?

Co-organised by the Health Workers for All (HW4All) project, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and EPHA, a policy debate took place on 5 May 2015 which discussed how the ethical recruitment principles of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel could best be implemented. It focused on the European context where professional mobility is encouraged in the Internal Market yet posing increasing challenges for the health systems (...)

General Data Protection Regulation - how to reconcile ethical and business concerns?

An event organised by the CEPS on 13 May 2015 provided an update of the status quo of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and presented issues under discussion during the Trilogue negotiations. Although the principal focus lay on stimulating dialogue between regulators and SMEs/start-ups, the debate also touched upon some health-related issues such as the development of eHealth as part of the Digital Single Market, and it brought up ethical questions related to the potential uses (...)

European Agenda on Migration commits to saving lives but not to improving reception

The European Commission released its long-awaited Communication on a European Agenda on Migration on 13 May, thereby delivering one of President Juncker’s political priorities. While the likelihood of saving more migrants’ lives will be increased through increased funding for Frontex operations and a more coordinated effort to managing migration more fairly across Europe is welcome, the problem remains that reception conditions in EU countries are insufficient. Funding is (...)

[Press Release] New EU Migration Agenda falls short on health

Brussels, 18 May 2015 – - The European Commission released its European Agenda on Migration (1) on Wednesday 13 May. EPHA welcomes that action is finally being stepped up and more funding being made available, but warns that health requires further support. Health concerns – of migrants and of receiving countries’ populations - are notably absent in the agenda, which merely mentions the need to support ‘reception and capacity to provide healthcare to migrants in the (...)