Just 11 cents per person in EU health spending?

EU Health Spending

On 29 June 2011, the European Commission set out its financial priorities for 2014-2020, as well as the financial mechanisms that will be used to finance the EU activities during seven years.

EPHA – the European Public Health Alliance – Europe's leading NGO advocating for better health welcomes the European Commission's intention to continue funding health projects until 2020. However, EPHA is worried by the priorities outlined by the European Commission, as well as the relatively low level of financing that it promises for health.

"Although the EU faces a crisis of its health care systems, an ageing boom, and an obesity epidemics, the budget dedicated to health equates to 11 cents per year per person. This is clearly not enough to respond to one of the first priorities for people living in Europe: their health and theirs of their children", said Archie Turnbull, President of EPHA.

On a positive note, EPHA applauds the European Commission when recognising that "Programmes funded as part of the EU's health and consumer policy contribute to the wellbeing of European citizens.". However, EPHA questions the direction that the title of the Programme indicates (Health for Growth): "Health should not be considered as an instrument for more growth. Health is a fundamental right and therefore should not be subdued to economic imperatives." Adds Turnbull.

"The coming debates promise to be tough" recognises Turnbull, "Member States will most probably try to get their money back. We therefore call on the European Parliament to champion the European interest by ensuring that growth delivers a healthier population and decreases inequalities in health."

In the coming months, EPHA commits to engage with and support the European Commission and the European Parliament to draft a Health Programme that will contribute to reducing health inequalities and increase healthy standards in Europe.

For more information, go to www.epha.org

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