European Region of the WCPT Newsletter 66 - January 2020

European Region of the WCPT Newsletter 66 - January 2020

In this issue:

  • Editorial: The Chair’s corner
  • European Region General Meeting 2020
  • 5th Congress of the European Region 2020 – Early bird registration is OPEN
  • European Commission new College (2019 – 2024) - Commissioner for Health
  • Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
  • Physiotherapists! Register as an expert!
  • EU Commission - DG SANTE Director-General appoints members of the Expert Panel for 2019-2022 term of office
  • EU-OSHA: 25 national policy initiatives to tackle work-related MSDs
  • Europe's Beating Cancer Plan: Let's strive for more - Conference
  • Country Health Profiles 2019
  • Employment social policy, health and consumer affairs EU council
  • WHO report: Adolescents not enough active
  • World Obesity: Childhood Obesity Atlas
  • Toolbox for Cross-Border Healthcare
  • Electronic cross-border health services
  • 13th Nordic Public Health conference: Health Programme workshop on 23/06/2020


Editorial: The Chair’s corner

As we begin another year and another decade, and on behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish every member of every Member Organisation health, peace and joy in the year and decade ahead. Thank you to each Member Organisation for being a part of the European Region and we look forward to working for you and with you in enhancing our profession in the Region in the year ahead.

The last quarter of 2019 was an opportunity to visit some Member Organisations. I joined PhysioDeutshland at a one-day seminar to celebrate its 70th year in Berlin; it was a great day dedicated to reflecting on the past and speculating about the future. I attended the conference of the Romanian Order in Craiova and had the opportunity of meeting with the Board. While at the conference of the Greek association in Athens, I attended a meeting with the new Greek Health Minister. These visits are also opportunities to promote physiotherapy and to support our MOs in raising issues and bringing solutions to the table at national level. The Executive Committee held its last meeting of the year in Pabianice during the conference of the Polish Society. I thank all three countries for their warm welcome and gracious hospitality.

The Call for bids to host the 2022 General Meeting and the Call for bids to host the 2024 European Region Congress will go out together in early February – please keep a lookout for these and I encourage Member Organisations to have the conversation within your organisation about making a bid. 



European Region General Meeting 2020

The European Region of the WCPT would like to invite its Member Organisations to the General Meeting (GM) of the European Region, to be held on 7 and 8 May 2020 in Prague, the Czech Republic.

The format of this GM has been redesigned to introduce more discussion and interaction amongst the delegates. This is based on the combined feedback from the survey of Member Organisations (MOs) who attended the 2018 General Meeting and the Working Group (WG) members and the outcomes of the Joint Working Groups’ meeting.


5th Congress of the European Region 2020 – Early bird registration is OPEN

The 2020 Congress of the European Region of WCPT will take place in Leuven, Belgium on the 11th and 12th September 2020 with the theme “Physiotherapy Education”.

Deadline: 31 March 2020

Further information:


European Commission new College (2019 – 2024) - Commissioner for Health

The Commission is composed of the College of Commissioners from 27 EU Member States. Together, the 27 Members of the College are the Commission's political leadership during a 5-year term. They are assigned to specific policy areas by the President.

Commissioners for the period 2019 – 2024.

Stella Kyriakides is the new Commissioner for Health. The Cypriot Stella Kyriakides is the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety of the EU for the period 2019 – 2024.

EU Commission President von der Leyen´s mission letter to Strella Kyriakides



Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Croatian presidency of the EU Council started on the 1st of January 2020 for a period of six months until the 30th June 2020. The Croatian Presidency has presented its priorities on healthcare, mobility and education as follows:

- As part of the process of achieving sustainable development goals in the field of healthcare, the Croatian Presidency will encourage discussions on lifelong healthcare. Faced with the burden of population ageing and the increased prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases, the Presidency wishes to encourage a more efficient utilisation of accessible health care solutions.

- The Presidency will continue working on an agreement on a Regulation on health technology assessment, aimed at addressing the increasing need to analyse the effects of new medicinal products and health technologies at EU level.

- Strengthening the mobility and positioning of the EU as an attractive place for study and scientific research will contribute to the creation of a European Education Area by 2025, notably the European Universities. The Presidency will continue to work on the timely adoption of the new ERASMUS+ Programme.

- The Presidency will encourage discussions on the social dimension of sport.

Council conclusions will be prepared on the subject of skills and competencies for coaches in order to bring sports training and recreational activities in line with quality, safety and health protection standards. Special consideration will be given to the specific needs of particular social groups, especially children and persons with disabilities.

For further information



Physiotherapists! Register as an expert!

The European Region encourages colleagues to register as experts for the preparation, implementation and evaluation of EU programmes and design of policies, bringing our profession knowledge.

In order to select experts, the European Union Institutions publish regularly calls for expression of interest detailing the selection criteria, the required expertise, the description of the tasks, their duration and the conditions of remuneration.

Interested? Please click here to join the database of external experts!



EU Commission - DG SANTE Director-General appoints members of the Expert Panel for 2019-2022 term of office

Anne Bucher, Director-General for Health and Food Safety, appointed 17 experts for the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health.



EU-OSHA: 25 national policy initiatives to tackle work-related MSDs

What are countries across Europe and beyond doing to tackle work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)? The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has published 25 ncase studies that look at various national policy initiatives aimed at MSD prevention and management. They outline what each initiative has achieved, the success factors and challenges and the potential for transferability to other sectors or countries.

Work-related MSDs are highly prevalent and detrimental to worker well-being, business productivity and economies. These short and informative case studies provide insight into various approaches to prevention, highlighting the importance of collaboration, involving all stakeholders.

Download the national MSD case studies

Find out more about work-related MSDs in EU-OSHA dedicated web section

Read the EU-OSHA recent publication: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders: prevalence, costs and demographics in the EU


Europe's Beating Cancer Plan: Let's strive for more - Conference

Every 9 seconds a new case of cancer is diagnosed in the EU. What is more, it is estimated that 40% of Europeans will face cancer at one point in their lives. That is why cancer has been placed as one of the main priorities of the European Commission by president Von der Leyen and her team. This disease will be tackled through the Europe Beating Cancer Plan which will be sustained by 4 pillars: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and follow up care. These four pillars will need to be approached horizontally.

On 4 February 2020, coinciding with World Cancer Day, the European Commission will launch public consultations of the plan at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels with the support of MEPs Against Cancer Interest Group.

The Chairman of the European Region and General Secretary will be attending the conference.

More information




Country Health Profiles 2019

Experts from the OECD and the Observatory prepared a set of 30 Country Health Profiles, covering all EU Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway. The State of Health in the EU’s Country Health Profiles are designed to be a one-stop-shop for knowledge and information on a country’s health system, and include a cross-EU comparison.

The Country Health Profiles are a comprehensive resource that covers the latest health policy challenges and responses in each country. The design of each profile balances depth and brevity to make the analysis accessible and useful to a broad audience. Although the profiles are built according to a standard template and methodology, each profile’s focus has been adapted to country specificities, so as to maximise the relevance of each analysis.

The shift to prevention and primary care is the most important trend across countries.

Country profiles available



Employment social policy, health and consumer affairs EU council

Last Employment social policy, health and consumer affairs EU council held on 9th December debated on “Economy of Wellbeing”: “The focus of the discussion was on mental health, healthy ageing and the digital transformation of health and social services. Ministers agreed that national policies in these areas had to be supported by measures and policies at EU level, including through various EU programmes and data sharing. The debate highlighted the importance of raising mental health awareness, ensuring prevention and early intervention and improving mental health literacy. Participants agreed on the need to develop and implement an EU mental health strategy as well as a European health data space. The debate also highlighted the need to make health care systems more adaptable to the digital age and to invest in technology, because of rapid digitalisation. The crucial role of cross-sectoral approaches and of cooperation at all levels was also stressed.”


WHO report: Adolescents not enough active

The World Health Organisation has published a report which shows that 80% of school going adolescents globally do not meet current recommendations of performing at least one hours of physical activity per day.

WHO experts call for an urgent promotion of the importance of physical activity for health and well-being and recommend:

- Urgent scaling up is needed of known effective policies and programmes to increase physical activity in adolescents;

- Multisectoral action is needed to offer opportunities for young people to be active, involving education, urban planning, road safety and others;

This report places the spotlight on girls’ physical activity, as there is a significant gap between the levels of activity of boys and girls, which the authors state is “is concerning”.

Access the report


World Obesity: Childhood Obesity Atlas

World Obesity hast published the first Childhood Obesity Atlas, showing the increasing levels of childhood obesity globally. The first global atlas on childhood obesity illustrates how obesity levels are rising even in low and middle income countries previously associated with undernutrition. “Alarmingly, no country around the world has more than a fifty percent chance of meeting their target for tackling childhood obesity by 2025. Despite governments' commitments around the world to address childhood obesity, action to back-up commitments remain weak”.

Full report


Toolbox for Cross-Border Healthcare

The toolbox contains relevant information on the legal framework of cross-border healthcare, covering both Directive 2011/24/EU and the Social Security Regulations (EC) 883/2004 and 987/2009. It is divided into two main parts, one for patients and one for National Contact Points (NCPs). Under the Cross-border Healthcare Directive, patients have the right to access health services in another EU/EEA country and to have their costs paid by their home country where they are insured.

This toolbox is intended for patients and National Contact Points (NCPs) Search for available translations in the link above, set up in each EU country to provide information to patients seeking healthcare in another EU country. The use of this toolbox is voluntary and does impose any obligations on the National Contact Points. The application of the toolbox needs to take into account the specific context of national legislation and the national organisation of healthcare.


Electronic cross-border health services

The electronic cross-border health service is an infrastructure ensuring the continuity of care for European citizens while they are travelling abroad in the EU. This gives EU countries the possibility to exchange health data in a secure, efficient and interoperable way.

The following two electronic cross-border health services are currently progressively introduced in all EU countries:

ePrescription (and eDispensation) allows EU citizens to obtain their medication in a pharmacy located in another EU country, thanks to the online transfer of their electronic prescription from their country of residence where they are affiliated, to their country of travel.

Patient Summary provides information on important health related aspects such as allergies, current medication, previous illness, surgeries, etc. It is part of a larger collection of health data called electronic Health Record. The digital Patient Summary is meant to provide doctors with essential information in their own language concerning the patient, when the patient comes from another EU country and there may be a language barrier. In the longer term, not only the basic medical information of the Patient Summary, but the full Health Record should become available across the EU. The exchange of ePrescriptions and Patient Summaries is open to all the Member States.

Both ePrescriptions and Patient Summaries can be exchanged between EU countries thanks to the new eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI).

By 2021, both services will gradually be implemented in 22 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.


13th Nordic Public Health conference: Health Programme workshop on 23/06/2020

The 13th Nordic Public Health conference will take place on June 22nd to 25th in Reykjavik Iceland, the Health Programme workshop on addiction to alcohol and drugs will be on 23 June.

The theme of the conference is "Health and wellbeing for all heading for the future".

The conference is a platform for the Nordic countries to come together, share knowledge, experience and cultivate professional relationships and networks in the field of public health.

Further information on the conferences can be found here: