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Roma Public Health emergency - alarming European Commission data on Roma health

Health Commissioner Tonio Borg announced at the EPHA Annual Conference on 4 September 2014, that the European Commission has issued a report on the health status of the Roma population in Europe. The report concludes that Roma in Europe suffer a greater exposure to wider risks of ill health, have poorer access to preventive and healthcare services and suffer poorer health outcomes than the general population. The report also highlights that as a result of cutbacks linked to the economic (...)

EPHA involved in review and mapping of continuous professional development and lifelong learning for health professionals in the EU

The Commission’s Action Plan for the EU health workforce addresses continuous professional development to safeguard patient safety within the context of cross-border mobility of health professionals and patients in the EU. On 10 October 2013, a consortium led by the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and also consisting of the Council of European Dentists (CED), the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN), the European Midwives Association (EMA), the European (...)

What the Europe 2020 review means for health

With the EU Institutions producing a tremendous amount of reading material every week, it is sometimes hard to discern which direction we should be pointing our limited resources and time. This is even more the case for many of us who are not based in Brussels and might not be familiar with the rather technical and suspiciously similar-sounding jargon emanating from the heart of Europe. This is why we have considered writing this article on the Europe 2020 Strategy Review that came out at (...)

[Call for Applications] New Masters Programme (MSc) in Health Policy - Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest)

In September 2014, the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest will launch a new Masters Programme (MSc) in Health Policy, Planning and Financing with specialisation in Health Economics. Over two years, students will understand and analyse key issues and problems of future health systems faced bymiddle-income countries. The Masters Programme is based on three main components : basic courses, professional core material and specialisation in health economics. The latter provides (...)

[EU Parliament plenary vote on Professional Qualifications Directive] Balancing mobility and patient safety

On 9 October, the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of adopting a modernised Professional Qualifications Directive (DIR36), which introduces new rules including more stringent requirements to be met by mobile health professionals in order to safeguard patient safety, and a simplified administrative procedure for swifter mutual recognition of professional qualifications between Member States. The modernisation of DIR36 was one of twelve key actions identified by (...)

[EPHA Open Letter] to EPSCO Council - Boosting investment in health and sustainable development

EPHA has published an open letter to the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO). Based on the recently released Annual Growth Survey (AGS) for 2013, the letter makes recommendations aimed at boosting investment in health and sustainable development. On February 28, EPSCO Council met to discuss the AGS and formulate recommendations towards the EU Spring Council of March. The meeting outcome has great impact, not only on EU guidance, but also on national (...)

Council conclusions on Literacy

The Council of the European Union adopted a couple of conclusions on literacy during the 3201st Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting on 26 and 27 November in Brussels. Levels of literacy remain stagnant in most European countries and one in five European citizens has inadequate literacy levels. Taking into account the fact that literacy is a crucial life competence which empowers the individual citizen and that low literacy levels hold back economic growth and reduces (...)

Time to Act: WHO Global Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel

The World Health Organisation Global Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel was adopted in 2010 by the WHO Member States, including the EU-27 countries. Notably, its monitoring strategy calls on NGOs and other stakeholders to work with the WHO to achieve ‘’meaningful commitment and action’’. The meeting of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in Malta on 10-13 September is an opportunity to recall the importance and urgency of (...)

New report reviews health literacy interventions

Health literacy is vital to active and informed healthcare issues and is identified as a key action to reduce health inequalities within the European Union. In this context the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a paper providing rapid review of the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to improve health literacy. The ECDC report focuses on communicable diseases and interventions for disadvantaged populations within the European region. The (...)

Counterfeit medicines: What role for patients?

The Council of Europe’s eTACT project project is a collaborative system to better, in support of the Falsified Medicines Directive, secure the legal supply-chain of medicinal products from manufacturers to consumers. It proposes a flexible structure that could provide patients with a role in the identification of falsified medicines by using new technology to check the authenticity of products. However, instead of ’empowering’ patients and enhancing trust, the effects (...)