October 3, 2020

IPOPI in the discussion of transforming healthcare systems in Europe

IPOPI was pleased to participate in the European Parliament (EP) Interest Group on Innovation in Health and Social Care’s virtual roundtable held on October 1, 2020, entitled “Transforming Healthcare: A European healthcare workforce” to discuss how to improve healthcare systems in Europe from the perspective of healthcare professionals.  
MEP Tomislav Sokol (EPP, Croatia), co-chair of the European Parliament Interest Group on Innovation in Health and Social Care, after welcoming the speakers and participants highlighted the problems faced by the healthcare sector and the general shortage of medical professionals. Mr Sokol highlighted that the EU’s multi-annual financial framework is an important tool that could be used to address and implement structural reforms of healthcare systems.
The European Commission’s original proposal on the EU4HEALTH budget was a step in the right direction, however, the Council has already decided to reduce the budget allocation earmarked for health. The European Parliament will continue working for more funds to be directed towards improving health systems EU-wide.

The other co-chair of the EP Interest Group, MEP Irena Joveva (Renew, Slovenia) focused on the importance of the healthcare sector. “The capacity of health systems to address the changing needs for care, as well as the current pandemic, strongly depends on their workforce, its availability, its safety, skills and equipment to tackle disease outbreaks and raising demand of care.” said MEP Irena Joveva. MEP Joveva highlighted the need to build a European long-term strategy that embraces innovative processes and solutions to the weaknesses of the current European health systems.

Overall all panellists agreed on duty and opportunity to rebuild and strengthen our health systems and co-create safe, innovative, robust and resilient health systems which are future proofed against any upcoming health related emergency shocks.
It urges to agree, at least, on minimum requirements in health workers’ education and training to build an effective European health workforce able to tackle public health emergencies and to enable greater freedom of movement of staff, while still allowing the flexibility for Member States to add requirements domestically.

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