24 April 2014, Brussels - April has been a busy month with several summits hosted in Brussels. For starters, the First EU Summit on Chronic Diseases (3-4 of April, see EPHA report here) discussed the benefits of sustainable investments in health, as well as ways to reduce the burden of chronic diseases and strengthen the prevention and management of chronic diseases. In my speech I called on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) candidates to ensure peoples’ health and well-being are properly incorporated in a strong vision for Europe and to guarantee that the Europe 2020 strategy prioritises and delivers for people’s health and well-being. You can download my presentation here.
On 4th April Brussels hosted the Third European Roma Summit. In this event (see EPHA analysis here) the European Commission published its assessment on the 2013 National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS). EPHA, along with other two Roma organisations, issued a press statement in which we urged the EU and its member states to, once and for all, get serious in tackling the factors that trap Roma populations in a cycle of ill-health and socio-economic marginalisation. With the occasion of this Summit and the International Romani Day (8th April) EPHA launched its position on Roma Health in Europe. Among other recommendations, the paper calls on Brussels to fully implement the EU legislation on Roma integration at member state level, and to secure sustainability of employment of Roma Health Mediators.
Coinciding with the 7th Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) meeting, this month we published a briefing on Human Rights, Fundamental Rights and Equal Treatment Legislation in Europe. The paper explores existing human rights instruments in Europe, examines their relation to the right to health, and presents the current situation regarding equal treatment legislation in Europe.
Earlier in April, the European Parliament adopted several measures as part of the revision of the EU Medical Devices Directive (MDD) and the In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices (IVD) Directive. In a press statement, we welcomed the majority of these measures and pointed that after one and a half years of proposals, it is time to rebuild the trust of patients around Europe. As I stated in the media release, access to clinical data will allow healthcare professionals to take better informed medical decisions about which devices to use.
This month we also sent an open letter to the French Minister of Health and two French Senators congratulating them for their report ’Taxation and Public Health: evaluation of behavioural taxation’. This paper backs up a proposal to introduce a ’junk-food tax’ on products associated with increased non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The proposed tax will contribute to the counteracting of poor dietary habits and compensation for the public health costs linked to the consumption of junk-food.
As an ending note, I would like to remind you that there is less than a month to go before hundreds of millions of Europeans are called to cast their vote in the European Parliament elections. EPHA’s Election Manifesto urges European policy-makers to: 1) refocus Europe’s Business Plan on to the well-being of people; 2) create a people-centric economy, quality work for all; 3) create an inclusive, sustainable society; 4) put in action a strong public-interest based health policy.
Peggy Maguire - EPHA President
Read all the online articles from our APRIL 2014 NEWSLETTER
Other highlights from previous weeks:
EPHA MEMBERS can find the following new information in the members-only section.