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  • EPSCOEmployment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO)

Health Minister A. Georgiadis presented the Greek Presidency’s priorities in the field of health at the European Parliament (Brussels, 22.1.2014)

Today, the Minister of Health Spyridon-Adonis Georgiadis presented the Greek Presidency’s health priorities before the members of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament (ENVI).

Minister Georgiadis started his presentation by underlining that the Greek Presidency recognizing that good health is a prerequisite for economic growth and prosperity will work in order to make progress aiming at the completion of the legislative work and the promotion of initiatives and the reinforcement of co-operation between member states for more efficient health systems and better health.

Mr. Georgiadis went on by stressing that medical devices and in vitro diagnostic devices are two very important legislative proposals aiming at improving patient safety through the strengthening of the provisions on pre-market conformity assessments and post-market surveillance governing their placing on the market. These will be at the center of the discussions for the next months towards achieving substantial progress and agreement.

He expressed his satisfaction for the agreement reached on tobacco products and clinical trials legislative proposals and his optimism for a positive vote in the Plenary of the European Parliament in the course of the next months.

On the Pharmacovigilance Fees, Mr. Georgiadis noted that the Greek Presidency will work together with the European Parliament and the European Commission for an agreement by mid February, while he added that Greece will seek progress on the transparency Directive.

The economic crisis and the impact on healthcare and health systems will be a top priority for the Greek Presidency said Minister Georgiadis. This will be discussed at the Informal Health Council on 28-29 April in Athens and the Presidency will propose Council Conclusions on how the European health systems had coped with the financial constraints and the lessons learned aiming at identifying best practices and highlighting key elements for the ideal package of policy measures to overcome the crisis and develop a recovery model.

The second main health priority will focus on migration and its implications on public health, issue that gathered the interest of the MEPs. The Minister underlined the importance of close co-operation between Member States and the need for solidarity in addressing a common public health challenge for the EU Member States.

Mr. Georgiadis added that in the fight against non communicable diseases, the Greek Presidency will organise a Ministerial Conference on 25-26 February in Athens and will propose Council Conclusions on nutrition and physical activity aiming at promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours across the Lifecycle.

Finally, he concluded that Greece will place special attention on innovation in the health sector and eHealth solutions contributing to the sustainability and efficiency of health systems and in this respect the eHealth Forum 2014 will take place on 12-14 May in Athens aiming at driving the Digital Agenda forward.