PositionNon-governmental organization

In a joint statement, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers' Association (HOSPEEM) have criticised the European Commission's proposal on cross-border health care. "We call for decisions on health services to be based on what is best for the patient, not on political theories or on the expansion of internal market rules," Godfrey Perera, general secretary of HOSPEEM, said. The EPSU's General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, added: "We hope that the European Commission realise that the foundation of quality health care in the EU is equal access for all, based on medical need, and not an open market based on cost and ability to pay".

The declaration, which marks the first formal joint position between the EU's social partners for the hospital sector, sets out clear principles upon which the management, financing and delivery of health care in the EU should be based.

  1. It is not for the EU institutions to impose market and/or competition mechanisms in the health care sector, which could have as consequence the lowering of standards and increasing costs of health care systems and thus diminishing the accessibility to care.

  2. Health care should therefore be organised on the basis of common European social values, including solidarity, social justice and social cohesion. They should also follow the principles of general interest, like equality, accessibility and quality.

  3. It is essential that EU internal market or competition rules do not limit the EU member states' autonomy in the implementation of these national responsibilities.

The European social NGOs denounce particularly the lack of solidarity in the...

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