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Workshop: Everything you always wanted to know about EU health policy but were afraid to ask

13 Nov 2019

AbstractObjectiveThe EU is often criticized for being ‘market-driven’ and practicing a form of ‘cold integration’. Any attempt, however, to strengthen solidarity and social integration in the EU is met by stakeholders in the member states with reservation and often outright refusal, arguing that health systems are national competence subject to the subsidiary principle.This conundrum of asking for more but allowing for less has blocked a scientifically informed public debate about the EU and health policy.The overall objective of this workshop is to discuss how health research can contribute to resolve this conundrum making the EU more conducive to the needs of health systems, public health (PH) and Health in All Policies (HiAP).To this end we will review the following 4 specific topics

  • What are is EU-health policy and what other policies are affecting health and health systems?
  • What tells us the projected Brexit-impact on the UK health system and PH about the value of EU health policy?
  • Are EU-trade policies shaping healthier commercial determinants of health?
  • What is the added value of cross-border care at and beyond border regions?

This workshop is based on the update of the seminal volume “Everything you always wanted to know about European Union health policies but were afraid to ask” (2019, 2nd edition).Key note Scott Greer:In health and health systems the European Union is ubiquitous. Health systems in Europe are hard to figure without the cross border mobility of health professions. Patients going cross-borders. We have a European Medicines Agency that is regulating key aspects of the pharmaceutical market. Health systems have become part of the economic governance of the EU.In PH we have the ECDC, a PH programme and policies on health related consumer protection and may mechanism that should protect European citizens from scourges that know no borders.With health in all policies, the EU legislates literally on all known agents and, when in doubt, is using the pre-cautionary principle to protect citizens from health hazards.All this is supported by a large EU research programme.Panellist 1 N Fahy, the projected impact of Brexit on health system functions of the United Kingdom demonstrates how deep the integration goes and how beneficial it is for both health systems and public health.Panellist 2 H Jarman: The discussion around the Transatlantic Trade an Investment Partnership (TTIP) have risen worries about privatization of health services and lowering of food standards. But TTIP is only the tip of the Iceberg given that the EU has several types of trade agreements with many countries and groups of countries, shaping the commercial determinants of health.Panellist 3 W Palm: Cross-border collaboration is already taking place in many border regions. The European reference networks demonstrate the value of the cross-border collaboration beyond border regions, as does collaboration for joint purchasing and health workforce development.Key messages

  • Health is important at the EU level and the EU level is important for health.
  • Not shaping health and health systems at EU level will limit the perspectives of EU integration, health system development public health and HiAP.

PanelistsScott GreerHolly JarmanContact: hjarman@umich.eduNick FahyContact: nicholas.fahy@phc.ox.ac.ukWilly PalmContact: wismarm@obs.who.intContact: palmw@obs.who.int

Click here to view the full article which appeared in European Journal of Public Health