The €5.1 billion EU4Health programme for 2021-2027 received Parliament’s sign-off on March 9, with 631 MEPs voting in favour, 32 against and 34 abstaining. The rapporteur for the programme, MEP Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (EPP / Romania), described the budget as adequate, falling short of the initial proposal of €9 billion, yet 12 times bigger than that of previous programmes.
EU4Health aims to make EU health systems more resilient by enhancing coordination among Member States and placing more focus on data sharing, as well as making medicines and medical devices more affordable and accessible. At least 20% of the entire budget is dedicated to disease prevention and health promotion, which IDF Europe views as critical in reducing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and improving diabetes management and care across Europe.
The programme will also support actions linked to the digitalisation of health services and the creation of a European “health data space”. As diabetes is a condition that makes much use of numbers, calculations and data, and which requires lifelong, round-the-clock self-management by the person living with diabetes, technology and digitalisation are natural tools for managing the condition. Optimal diabetes management, and its resulting impact on quality of life, is contingent upon the ability of people living with diabetes to access the medicines, supplies, technologies and care they require on an uninterrupted basis. As such, EU4Health’s objective of making affordable medicines and medical devices more widely available will help improve their quality of life. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the inherent inequalities in access to care across and within EU countries. Enabling equitable access to care will also help achieve better health outcomes for all European citizens.
The next step is now for the Council to adopt the regulation, after which the funds associated with the programme will become available.
The compromise agreement between the Council and the Parliament can be found here.
Parliament’s press release following the vote is available here.