The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has put European health systems under enormous strain, revealing gaps in the way public health emergencies are addressed. The European Parliament has consistently promoted a coherent EU public health policy.
The pandemic shows the importance of coordination among European countries to protect people’s health, both during a crisis and in normal times when we can tackle underlying health conditions, invest in strong health systems and train healthcare workers.
The European Commission's proposal for a new EU Health programme, EU4Health, aims to fill these gaps. EU4Health's three main priorities are: tackling cross-border health threats; making medicines available and affordable; and strengthening health systems.
With EU4Health, the EU will invest €5.3 billion in current prices in actions with an EU added value.
EU4Health will pave the way to a European Health Union by investing in urgent health priorities: the response to the COVID-19 crisis and reinforcing the EU’s resilience to cross-border health threats, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, and the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe.
The European Health Union will improve EU-level protection, prevention, preparedness and response to human health hazards.