On Monday, December 14th the European Council and the European Parliament came to an agreement on the EU4Health programme after a series of trialogue negotiations.
The final budget for the programme rests at €5.1 billion for the period 2021-2027. Over 20% of this budget will be allocated specifically to health promotion and disease prevention, a move that IDF Europe warmly welcomes. Shifting the focus of healthcare systems from treating diseases to preventing them will have widespread benefits for all, particularly people living with diabetes and at-risk groups. Fostering healthy environments in Europe also has the potential to help lower the risk of people developing type 2 diabetes and/or diabetes-related complications.
A significant focus of the programme will also be on creating a European Health Data Space. This will be important in order to improve the exchange of knowledge between EU Member States, set benchmarks, and ultimately improve health outcomes in Europe. Accelerating the move towards digitalisation of health services will have key benefits for people living with diabetes in terms of their diabetes management and access to healthcare.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the EU4Health programme will also focus on improving the robustness of our health systems to protect EU citizens against future cross-border health threats. This will take the form of a new European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority. As we have seen, people living with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, can be particularly vulnerable in such situations.
The pandemic also highlighted the danger posed by shortages in medicines, supplies and technologies. The EU4Health programme promises to remedy this by focusing on better availability of affordable medicines and medical devices. This is in line with IDF Europe’s priority that calls for uninterrupted access for people living with diabetes to the necessary medicines, technologies and care throughout their lives in order to maintain a high quality of life and optimal diabetes management.