The New EU4Health Programme

The New EU4Health Programme

Posted on June 16, 2020

The European Commission has proposed a new and ambitious stand-alone health programme covering the 2021-2027 period. It is the EU4Health Programme. This programme is the European Commission’s initiative to upscale the state of the game in healthcare at the EU-level, aiming at making European citizens healthy as they can be throughout their lives. Moreover, this programme is also aiming at making a significant contribution to the post-COVID-19 recovery in the EU countries by strengthening the resilience of our healthcare systems and promoting innovation in the healthcare sector. This new programme will also fill the gaps revealed by the COVID-19 crisis and ensure that EUs health systems are resilient enough to face new and future health threats. Ultimately, this programme wats to create a Europe that supports timely access to affordable, high quality healthcare for all.

This programme comes in timely after the COVID-19 outbreak, which has demonstrated that the EU needs to achieve:

  • more coordination between Member States during a health crisis;
  • more capacity at EU level to prepare for and to fight health crises; and
  • more investment in health systems to make sure they are ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

With this new programme, the EU will acquire competencies in the following:

  • invest in creating reserves of medical supplies in case of a crisis;
  • create a reserve of healthcare staff and experts that can be mobilised to prevent or respond to health crises throughout the EU;
  • train healthcare professionals for deployment across the EU;
  • step up surveillance of health threats, and
  • improve the resilience of health systems to ensure better health outcomes for all.

On top of that, this programme has three overarching objectives:

  1. Protecting people in the EU from serious cross-border health threats and improving crisis management capacity;
  2. Making medicines, medical devices and other crisis relevant products, available and affordable and supporting innovation;
  3. Strengthen health systems and the health care workforce, including by investing in public health, for instance through health promotion and disease prevention programmes and improving access to healthcare.

As part of this programme, €9.4 billion in funds will be allocated to its implementation. It is key that the EFN members, in the representation of all the EU nurses, benefit from this programme and participate in its co-creation and implementation across their countries.

The European Commission has published a “Questions and Answers” for stakeholders in this programme which is available here.