EFN open letter to new Commissioner-designate for Health Stella Kyriakides

EFN open letter to new Commissioner-designate for Health Stella Kyriakides

Posted on October 1, 2019

The European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN) extends is warmest welcome to the new Commissioner-designate for Health, the Cypriot Stella Kyriakides. We wish them all the success in the upcoming term bringing forward the EU’s healthcare systems and facing the challenges that these are facing at the moment.

The EFN is also looking forward to the closest cooperation possible with the new Commissioner-designate. As we represent 3 million nurses in the EU and about 6 million in the whole of Europe, it is key that the nursing profession is taken on board for reforming our healthcare systems towards something more sustainable, inclusive, and efficient.

Nurses shortages are across Europe continue persisting and are not being efficiently tackled. Nurses are a central pillar in the well-functioning of our healthcare systems. They are the healthcare professionals that expend most time at the bedside with the patient, always at the frontline, 24h a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, the right transposition of Directive 2013/55/EU, and in particular its article 31 (outlining the set of 8 competences general care nurses should have) is a key political priority for the EFN and its members. The new Commissioner-designate should monitor this closely. Finally, there are other topics such as value-based healthcare, the digitalisation of healthcare, and primary care, in which we would also like to have to work together to ensure that these move forward in a direction that is beneficial for the nurses and the patients alike.

Moreover, the new Commission-designate should align herself with the World Health Organisation, that has declared 2020 as the “year of the nurse and the midwife“. This goes in parallel with the Nursing Now Campaign, of which the EFN is the regional leader for Europe. These initiatives are very important for strengthening the role and importance of the nursing profession.

At the same time, the EFN would like to remind the new Commission-designate, as well as all stakeholders interested in healthcare, that the two Horizon 2020-funded projects on Electronic Health Records (namely, InteropEHRate and Smart4Health) continue making progress. These two projects just had their last plenary meetings in Piraeus, Greece (InteropEHRate) and Lisbon, Portugal (Smart4Health). Latest developments were discussed, as well as several action points for the upcoming months. The EFN is also actively participating in another Erasmus+ funded project, called Qualment, that is addressing the clinical mentor’s lack in nursing education and developing the clinical mentor’s competence with mentor education for national and international nursing students.