HEALTH COUNCIL : MINISTERS REACT POSITIVELY TO 2014-2020 HEALTH PROGRAMME.

 
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The Council held its first ministerial debate on the proposal for a health programme for 2014-2020, on 2 December 2011. The health ministers voiced overall support for the draft regulation establishing the EU's third multiannual programme of action in the field of health, called Health for growth'. Some member states expressed marginal criticisms, in particular on the choice of instrument, the absence of measures against health inequalities and the distribution of the budget among the objectives selected.

On 9 November, the European Commission proposed to allocate 446 million to the future health programme, an increase of 125 million from the previous programme. This financial allocation is divided up among four key priorities: establishing innovative and viable health systems (48% of the budget), improving citizens' access to better quality and safer health care (22%), promoting health and preventing illness (21%), and protecting citizens from cross-border health threats (9%). Belgium, Slovenia and Portugal criticised the funding distribution. Belgian State Secretary Jean-Marc Delizee commented: "Belgium regrets the absence of measures on health inequalities and on the impact of the crisis on health systems. The programme also lacks health impact assessments and measures for mainstreaming health in all policies. [ ] Why reserve the majority of the allocation to innovation, which amounts mainly to supporting industry?" Finland, Sweden and Portugal also regretted the absence of references to health inequalities. France and the United Kingdom both asked the Commission about the added value of a regulation, since the previous two health programmes have been based on a decision.

THREE SETS OF CONCLUSIONS

Prevention, awareness raising and cooperation are the watchwords of the three sets of conclusions adopted by the health ministers...

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