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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 (...)

Pharmaceutical supply chains: what action is being taken?

EPHA, together with US consumer organisation SumOfUs and UK-based Ethical Consumer, has co-signed letters to some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, asking for information on their sources of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and their production practices. The recent report, ’Bad Medicine’ published by SumOfUs, provides the context for the letters. It exposes the fact that a number of large pharmaceutical companies are sourcing antibiotic ingredients (...)

General Data Protection Regulation - EPHA progress report calls for health research exemption in trilogue negotiations

The General Data Protection Reform (GDPR) entered into the trilogue phase in June with the aim of concluding discussions at the end of 2015 or soon thereafter. A new EPHA progress report describes the challenges of the GDPR experienced so far and confirms the crucial role of data for health research and science purposes. In 2012, following the release of the European Commission’s proposal for a draft regulation (setting out a general EU framework for data protection) and a draft (...)

European Parliament debate focuses on pros and cons of data driven healthcare

eHealth, mobile apps and digital medical services are sparking many hopes and concerns at the same time. The #Datacare debate held on 15 September 2015 at the European Parliament specifically explored the question, “What can data driven healthcare do for Europe?” In our globalised, digital world, things are changing rapidly and technology is an inevitable, driving feature of innovation. In the future, health systems are likely to be permeated more and more by technology. Now is (...)

[NGO Statements] How to promote Health in the WHO European Region?

Vilnius, Lithuania, 14-17 September 2015 - Health ministers and high level representatives of the 53 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region, partner organisations and civil society, took part in the sixty-fifth session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe. Civil Society organisations - including EPHA - have issued several statements highlighting the importance of a better and more inclusive healthcare framework for Europe, access to skilled health workers (...)

[Summer update] Health in EU economic governance

This article gives a brief overview of health related developments, activities and events in the EU’s economic governance framework that have taken place over the summer months. The summer period is what is known as the ‘national Semester’ – the time when member states integrate the guidance offered in the Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) into their national fiscal policy and budgets. For the European institutions, it is a relatively quiet period, as the (...)

Added therapeutic value of medicines: EPHA/Wemos event in the European Parliament

On 15 July 2015 EPHA and Wemos hosted an event in the Members’ Salon at the European Parliament to highlight the issue of added therapeutic value (ATV) in medicines. Several studies carried out at EU member state level indicate that the majority of medicines authorised for use have little-to-no ATV in comparison with existing treatments. This means that public money is being spent on new, costly medicines which have limited ATV, whilst also using up resources which might otherwise be (...)

[EPHA Position] How to include Public Health into the EU Trade Policy Strategy?

The objective of the European Public Health Community is to protect and promote public health by ensuring policy and regulatory space for governments and the EU by incorporating flexibility: Improved well-being of people should be the primary objective of EU policies, and EU trade policy is regarded as a tool to achieve a number of public interest objectives, including, protection of public health, the environment and consumer interests. - EPHA Position How to include Public Health into (...)

Evaluation of the Regulation on Tiered Pricing of Medicines

Supplying poor and developing countries with medicines at sustainable, reduced prices is one of the most important tools in the fight against major diseases, especially the “Big Three”, namely HIV, TB and malaria. After more than a decade since the Council Regulation (EC) 953/2003 came into force, to avoid trade diversion into the European Union of certain key medicines, stakeholders came together to discuss the overall impact of the Regulation at a workshop on 15 July 2015, (...)

What future role for health literacy in Europe?

Public health is not just about human diseases, healthcare services or cross-border pandemics. Most of all, health is about people. Giving wider attention to the individual also fits perfectly with the European 2020 vision of ’smart, inclusive and sustainable’ growth for a healthier EU, as highlighted at a recent meeting on ’health literacy in Europe’ organised by STOA - European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment - on 1 July 2015. People are used (...)