Minister of Health Sorina Pintea took over the mandate of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union in healthcare from her Austrian counterpart Beate Hartinger-Klein, within the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO).
“As of January 1, 2019 we will have the responsibility to coordinate one of the most important institutions, the Council of the European Union (EPSCO). In the healthcare field, we are prepared to act honestly and neutrally for the development and consolidation of the European project”, stated Sorina Pintea, Minister of Health.
The Romanian Presidency in the healthcare field shall continue the efforts to advance on the EU agenda on topics that impact and benefit patients. Our country’s objective during our mandate is guaranteeing access to healthcare for all European citizens.
Romania shall spare no efforts in order to drive progress on the legislative file regarding the Regulation Draft for Health Technology Assessment (HTA).
The Romanian Presidency in the healthcare field incudes 5 priority themes which deal with antimicrobial resistance, vaccination, EU patients’ equal access to medicines, patient mobility and digital health (eHealth).
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and associated infections are a theme of special interest for member states given the EU region registers an increase of antimicrobial resistance due to the irrational use of antibiotics. Romania shall hold a ministerial conference on this subject in Bucharest, whose results and conclusions will represent the basis for a set of Draft Conclusions which will later be negotiated with the 28 EU member states.
Vaccination of the population represents another subject of interest in the context of decreasing vaccination coverage, the increase of vaccine hesitancy and the pressure to develop new and efficient vaccines. In this field, our country will facilitate exchange of information and good practices regarding the vaccination programmes in Europe, identification of solutions to increase vaccination rates and a better supply of vaccines within a workshop organised in Cluj-Napoca.
As far as access to medicines is concerned, the Romanian Presidency shall continue the strategic debate within the Council regarding patients’ access to innovative and affordable medicines and therapies. The subject will be included on the agenda of the Informal Meeting of Health Ministers, scheduled in Bucharest in April. This opportunity will also be used to discuss treatment of hepatitis C infections.
Patients’ mobility will be tackled in the context of assessing the application of Directive 24/2011/EU regarding patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare. Romania will approach patients’ mobility in terms of providing equal treatment for all European patients who are under 18 and suffering from rare diseases.
The Romanian Presidency will organise the Digital Week (e-Health week) in Bucharest, with a series of events dedicated to applying information technology in the healthcare field.