The Malta Independent 24 August 2017, Thursday

Maltese Presidency adopts Council conclusions on EU priorities on health

Friday, 16 June 2017, 19:22 Last update: about 3 months ago

EU Health Ministers adopted Council conclusions on EU priorities to tackle childhood overweight and obesity, and voluntary co-operation between health systems. The adoption took place today during the Council for Health Ministers, (EPSCO) in Luxembourg, chaired by the Maltese Health Minister and President of the Council Chris Fearne.

The Council adopted Council conclusions, calling on Member States to tackle childhood overweight and obesity by addressing both the lack of physical activity, and unhealthy diets. EU countries are invited to integrate within their national action plans cross-sectoral approaches and strategies, including the promotion of physical activity, family based approaches, and encouraging breastfeeding in order to address childhood overweight and obesity in a holistic way.

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The Council also adopted conclusions encouraging a Member States-driven voluntary cooperation between health systems. This could result in better outcomes for patients and health care professionals, and increase the efficiency and sustainability of health systems.Voluntary cooperation can help improve patients' access to treatment, in particular for those patients suffering from rare diseases. Such cooperation also has the potential to further increase the acquisition of innovative and specialised skills for established professionals within Member States, and access to innovative health technologies.

Exchanging information on national pricing and reimbursement policies, and the sharing of information on pricing agreements on pharmaceutical products could improve transparency and Member States' leverage in negotiations with industry, and thereby enabling better access to medical products.

On this note, last month during a Ministerial Meeting in Malta eight member states- Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Romania signed the Valletta Declaration.

It is an agreement that will lead to the setup of a technical committee between member states for sharing information, identifying good practices, and explore mechanisms on cooperation on price negotiations on medicines. 


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