ER-WCPT Newsletter 55 - January 2017

ER-WCPT Newsletter 55 - January 2017

In this issue:

4th European Congress of the ER-WCPT on Physiotherapy 2016 – Abstracts and presentations are available.

Malta presidency of the EU – Health Priorities

EU Commission 2017 Work Programme

“Addressing the crisis of tomorrow: the sustainability of European health systems”

Crossing a border for a medical treatment: Commission publishes data from 23 Member States

Free movement of professionals: Commission urges Member States to transpose EU rules on recognition of professional qualifications

Health at a Glance: Europe 2016

Education at a Glance 2016

Plenary meeting of the European Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, Brussels, 24 November 2016

World Health Organisation will contribute to eHealth Week 2017

4th European Congress of the ER-WCPT on Physiotherapy 2016 – Abstracts and presentations are available.

After a successful Congress at which more than 1,200 physiotherapists from across Europe and the world were learning, debating and networking, we are pleased to announce that the Abstracts presented at the 4th European Congress of the ER-WCPT on Physiotherapy (platforms, rapid five and posters) have now been published as a supplement to Physiotherapy and will be publicly available (until 2021, thereafter for Physiotherapy subscribers only).

You can download them through link1 or Link2

This publication underpins the scientific programme that we delivered at the 4th European Congress of the ER-WCPT on Physiotherapy. It is therefore important that you disseminate the link to the physiotherapy community in each of your countries.

You can also download the presentations notes from most of the Congress speakers: browse the list

Malta presidency of the EU – Health Priorities

Malta will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 30 June 2017.

Health Thematic Priorities

Non Communicable Diseases - Childhood Obesity: Halting the Rise

Voluntary structured co-operation between Health Systems

Communicable Disease - HIV prevention and control across the EU

Data for Health - The key to personalised sustainable care

Minister for Health Chris Fearne outlined the priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the Council in the health sector at the EPSCO-Health Council. Mr Fearne provided a context to Malta’s initiatives during its Presidency in particular the prevalence of overweight children in countries across Europe.

The Minister for Health said that the Maltese Presidency holds health in high regard and is eager to provide a platform through which our collaborative efforts we can work together in synergy to further health across the EU.

During the Presidency Malta will be examining the findings, together with other Member States and the European Commission, of the mid-term evaluation report (2014-2020) on the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity and identify those areas which merit further action.

Malta will also be preparing Draft Council Conclusions for negotiation, with the aim of determining actions to achieve the overarching goal of halting the rise in overweight and obese children and young people by 2020.

Mr Fearne said that the Maltese Presidency, with the support of the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity, of the Joint Research Council and of the World Health Organisation “is drafting voluntary guidelines for the procurement of healthy food for consumption in schools. The ultimate aim of this exercise is to encourage and instill healthy eating behaviours at an early stage in life.”

In addition, the Maltese Presidency together with all Member States will jointly explore mechanisms of voluntary structured cooperation, and in doing so will seek to provide tangible benefits for both patients and health professionals.

Two potential areas for voluntary structured cooperation have been identified and include structured cooperation to improve access to innovative health technologies for Rare Diseases; and cooperation to address the EU health workforce challenges. Draft Council conclusions will also be drafted for further negotiation in this respect.

The recent upsurge in HIV infections EU-wide requires immediate concerted action. The Maltese Presidency, in collaboration with the European Commission and the ECDC, will bring together leading experts on prevention and control to discuss how Europe can improve its response to HIV and achieve the targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, the actions agreed at the UN High-Level meeting on HIV/AIDS and those adopted in the Global Health Sector Strategy at the World Health Assembly.

The Minister for Health also announced that Malta will be hosting a Ministerial Conference as part of its Presidency programme, on ‘Developing Medicines for Rare Diseases’, which will be held on the 21th March following the Informal Ministers’ Meeting on the 19th and 20th March.

For further information

EU Commission 2017 Work Programme

The European Commission has published its 2017 work programme. It focuses on 10 priorities with very little concerning health policy. Every year, the European Commission adopts a Work Programme, which sets out its key initiatives for the year ahead. The Commission Work Programme informs citizens and institutional partners how it will deliver its political priorities and turn them into concrete action.

This year's Work Programme proposes 21 key initiatives, as well as a further 18 REFIT proposals to improve the quality of existing EU legislation and ensure rules are fit for purpose.

As part of the new initiatives, the main point on health is a commitment to launch an initiative on coordinated health technology assessments.

No health policy fits under the REFIT programme for 2017, and in terms of withdrawals, the Commission announces that it is withdrawing the Zootechnical and Genealogical Conditions Directive, and the Regulation on Novel Foods.

Info graphic 2017

“Addressing the crisis of tomorrow: the sustainability of European health systems”

The European Policy Centre made available a new publication, which highlights the need for the European leaders and the EU Institutions to focus on key concerns. These include the sustainability of European health systems, taking into account the emerging trends and challenges that are likely to have an increasing impact on health systems and EU citizens in the next decades. The paper calls for the EU to recognise the value of health, consider health across policies, and collaborate and use the available instruments when it brings added value to member states and citizens.

For further information

Crossing a border for a medical treatment: Commission publishes data from 23 Member States

The EU Commission has published data from 23 EU countries on their use of the Cross-border Healthcare Directive in 2015. At the data presentation Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis emphasised the importance of this legislation for patients' rights and called for further work to improve patient information and National Contact Points coordination. He regretted the low awareness among EU citizens of patients' rights to cross-border healthcare. The Commissioner underlined the importance of enhanced cooperation with patient organisations, healthcare providers and insurers. He also highlighted the European Reference Networks (ERNs), as an excellent example of how cooperation between health systems can help patients suffering from a rare and complex disease by offering healthcare providers better access to key knowledge and expertise. "Some medical conditions arise too infrequently for all countries to invest in the expertise to diagnose and treat them. ERNs – the first of which are expected to become operational in 2017 - can overcome this problem by pooling expertise from across different EU countries", said the Commissioner.

For further information on cross-border healthcare or access to the full Report on Member States Data on cross-border healthcare following Directive 2011/24/EU - Year 2015

Free movement of professionals: Commission urges Member States to transpose EU rules on recognition of professional qualifications

The deadline for the transposition of Directive 2013/55/EU (DIR55) was 18 January 2016. However, many Member States have yet to transpose the Directive into national legislation. The European Commission has now published a Fact Sheet presenting the infringement procedures that it has decided to pursue in the coming months. Those Member States who have not yet communicated to the Commission the complete transposition of the Directive into their national law have two months to notify the Commission, who will then verify the correctness of the implementation. It is worth noting that Member States that have informed the Commission about their transposition have not necessarily implemented the Directive correctly. Being a key concern for the nurses, the EFN is following this process very closely and will be pro-active in getting civil servants, politicians and nursing schools involved.

Furhter information

Labour mobility in the European Union: a need for more recognition of foreign qualifications

Labour market mobility in the European Union is increasing, but it remains too low to provide sufficient adjustment in the face of diverging labour market developments.

This situation reflects non-policy factors, such as linguistic and cultural differences, but also policy barriers. In particular, difficulties in the recognition of professional qualifications are still a major hurdle.

Improvements in foreign language proficiency take time and require long-term policies. Publicly funded language courses aimed at cross-border workers are a useful tool, and should be provided. Even more important is to improve foreign language proficiency at an earlier stage, for example by considerably expanding the Erasmus student exchange programme that currently benefits only about 5% of European graduates.

For further information

Health at a Glance: Europe 2016

As a first step in the Commission’s State of Health in the EU cycle, the Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 report was published in November 2016. Developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with cooperation from the Commission, this publication provides updated analysis of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of health systems.

Apart from various chapters with statistical indicators of 35 European countries, the 2016 report includes two cross-cutting chapters on political priorities: the labour market impacts of behavioural risk factors and related chronic diseases, and the strengthening of primary care systems.

Access to Full report

Info graphic

Education at a Glance 2016

The OECD published its “Education at a Glance 2016” in which it analyses the work undertaken by 35 EU countries, and a number of partner countries, to promote and improve their education system, including data on the structure, finances and performance of the education systems.

Plenary meeting of the European Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, Brussels, 24 November 2016

Presentations, reports and full meeting information are available on this link.

World Health Organisation will contribute to eHealth Week 2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO), which just published a report on the status of eHealth in the WHO European Region in 2016, will contribute to the programme of eHealth Week in May 2017.

The high-level European eHealth Week, organised by the Maltese Ministry for Health (as part of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union), the European Commission and HIMSS Europe, will focus on the overarching theme "Data for Health: The key to personalised sustainable care" and will particularly highlight the impact that data has on patients' and citizens' health.

WHO/Europe, just published a report on the status of eHealth in the WHO European Region in 2016, and they will work to create content for the eHealth week programme.

eHealth Week 2017 (10-12 May 2017, Malta) will gather stakeholders from across the globe to address international hot topics and current challenges the health ecosystem is facing. The conference and exhibition will provide a platform for high-level decision-makers in the field of healthcare and IT to share valuable knowledge and exchange solutions. Registration is open.

Registration is open.