EU4Health Program: the European plan for the Healthcare reconstruction

The Covid-19 pandemic has created strong pressure over the Healthcare systems all around the world, bringing their professionals to the limit of extenuation and leaving behind the public health systems weakened. This healthcare crisis has brought everyone’s attention the deficiencies of some countries in this area and has brought to the limelight important lessons aimed at avoiding repeated errors. Nevertheless, an important part of those lessons gravitates around the need for more funding for public health systems.

It is precisely with the objective of strengthening the healthcare systems and to promote innovation in that sector in the European Union that the European Commission has created the EU4Health Program, an ambitious fund that will destinate 9.4 billion Euros during the 2021-2027 period to improve the resilience of the healthcare systems, so that they have the means to confront future new threats to their citizen’s health.

In specific, the plan has three main objectives:

  1. To protect EU population from significant cross-border threats to health and improve the capacity of crisis management;
  2. Guarantee availability of medication, medical devices and other products relevant for the crisis; they have to be affordable and to support innovation;
  3. Strengthen the healthcare systems and labor force of medical attention, including through investments in public healthcare systems, e.g. through promoting healthcare programs and prevention of diseases and improving access to the medical attention.

Beside the preparation and response towards future healthcare emergencies, the new program shall deal with other long term challenges, such as confront the inequalities in the health condition of the different populations, countries and regions; improve the access to an affordable attention, preventive and curative of high quality and overcome the obstacles to implement and enhance digital innovation in healthcare. It will also focus on non-contagious diseases, such as cancer, mental health and rare diseases; and evaluate the growing impact on health resulting from environmental degradation and contamination.

EU4Health will be implemented by the member states, non-governmental organizations and international and multilateral institutions that may request funding from the EU in the form of subsidies, awards and acquisitions. In addition to that it will also be available through indirect management by the European Commission and the executive agencies of the EU.

The new program will also be dedicated to the investigation and innovation, as it will closely collaborate with Horizon Europe, helping guarantee the best possible usage of the results of research and facilitate the adoption, expansion and take off of the innovation in the healthcare systems and the clinical practice.

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