EU Health nEwSwAtch (Spring 2019)

EU Health nEwSwAtch (Spring 2019)

Summary

1. European Commission news

2. European Council news

3. WHO news

4. Global Ministerial Patient Safety Summit

5. ESA EU outreach

6. BioMed Alliance news

7. Other news & opportunities

8. Funding news

9. Contact

1. European Commission news

6thFebruary: The European Commission presented a set of recommendations for the creation of a secure system that will enable citizens to access their electronic health files across Member States, while ensuring that the data is secure and in compliance with GDPR.

15thFebruary: The EU-funded project EUDONORGAN held a conference titled Why Organ Donation Matters to Us All in the European Parliament in collaboration with the Belgian Ministry of Health. Bringing together patients, advocacy groups, leading professionals and transplant authorities, stakeholders discussed their common aim to increase organ donation and transplantation in the EU.

15thMarch: The European Commission opened a public consultation on guidelines on the benefit-risk assessment of the presence of phthalates in certain medical devices. The consultation is open until 29thApril. Further information about the consultation is available here.

Please consult this link for other recent press releases from DG Santé.


2. European Council news

Romania took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the period from January to June 2019. The Romanian Presidency’s stated priorities in the field of health include prevention of healthcare associated infections, fighting anti-microbial resistance, enabling access to medicines and patient safety and quality of care.


3. WHO news

In January, the 144thExecutive Board discussed the preparations for a High Level meeting at the UN General Assembly on the theme “Universal Health Coverage: moving together to build a healthier world” to take place later this year.

A draft resolution was also proposed for Global Action on Patient Safety, supporting the establishment of an annual World Patient Safety Day to be celebrated on 17 September in order to increase public awareness and engagement around patient safety. The resolution urges Member States to integrate and implement patient safety strategies in all clinical programs and risk areas, such as surgical safety, in order to prevent avoidable harm to patients related to health care procedures. It is expected that the resolution will be approved in World Health Assembly in Geneva in May.

On Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day, 12th December, stakeholders called for a fundamental change in Europe’s approach to healthcare access to ensure that all patients in the EU have access to high quality, patient-centred equitable health and social care by 2030. It is widely recognised that there is an urgent need to improve patient safety if UHC is to be effective.


4. Global Ministerial Patient Safety Summit

The fourth summit took place in March in Jeddah and focused on strategies that will support the integration of patient safety as an essential element in achieving universal health coverage in all countries.


5. ESA EU outreach

  • On 21 March ESA President, Professor Stefan De Hert addressed a meeting of the Chief Medical Officers of the 28 EU Member States, under the auspices of the Romanian Presidency of the EU. Aligned with the health priorities of the Romanian Presidency, Professor De Hert made the case for the implementation of the Helsinki Declaration in order to improve perioperative patient safety. On behalf of ESA, he called on Member States to help improve patient safety and reduce mortality by
    • implementing measures to prevent and control healthcare acquired infections and anti-microbial resistance
    • developing professional guidelines and training programs on perioperative care
    • supporting the implementation of guidelines, recommendations and good practices
    • establishing reporting systems and annual reports on mortality
    • disseminating information and best practices
    • supporting the establishment of an annual World Patient Safety Day (17 September)
  • In late March Professor Daniela Filipescu (ESA Past President with oversight of EU Affairs) & Helen Brewer (ESA EU Affairs Manager) continued the contact program in preparation for the ESA2020 Patient Safety Policy Summit. Meetings were held with the Croatian EU Health Attaché, DG Santé Director for Health Systems, Medical Products and Innovation, Dr Andrzej Rys and European Patient Forum Secretary General, Nicola Bedlington.
  • On 29thJanuary, EU Affairs Manager Helen Brewer attended an event in the European Parliament organised by the European Network for Safer Healthcare. The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) presented data estimating that some 63% of infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria were healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Prevention of surgical site infections was one focus of the meeting, noting that this is complex, requiring the integration of a range of preventive measures before during and after surgery. Stakeholders called on the European Commission and Parliament to keep AMR and prevention and control of HAIs as key health priorities in future. 

6. BioMed Alliance news

  • ESICM has joined the BioMed Alliance, becoming the 30thmember to join the Alliance.
  • BioMed Alliance members with an interest in the implementation of the new Medical Device Regulation, met with officials from the Joint Research Centre (a scientific body of the European Commission) to discuss the clinical evaluation of high-risk medical devices. Since then ESA has launched an internal call for experts interested in improving the safety of devices used by anaesthesiologists.
  • A short cartoon has been produced by the Alliance promoting the importance of high quality, unbiased continuing medical education such as that provided by medical societies for their members.
  • On 17thJune the BioMed Alliance will organize a workshop on registries, providing an opportunity for medical societies and regulators to jointly discuss how registries should be organized to satisfy both regulatory and clinical needs. The meeting is open to regulators, healthcare professionals, patients and industry.

7. Other news & opportunities

The European Blood Alliance organised its first round-table event in the European Parliament on 22nd of January 2019. The meeting was organised to raise awareness on the challenges of a sustainable blood supply in Europe. A follow-up event may be organised in the second half of the year on publication of the European Commission Staff document on the evaluation of the EU Blood Directive.

On 7 November 2018, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists released the results of its 2018 Medicines Shortages Survey. The report, summarising the findings from the largest pan-Europe survey on medicines supply shortages, underlines the fact that medicines shortages remain a major problem for patients in European hospitals. Many hospital pharmacists highlighted the need for more timely and accurate information on medicines shortages.

The European Patients Forum launched its new Data Saves Lives initiative designed to explore and address the challenges and opportunities of health data from the patients’ perspective.


8. Funding news

ESA is taking steps to identify EU research & innovation funding for topics of interest to anaesthesiologists. We expect that the European Commission will continue fund cross-cutting areas such as personalised medicine, digital health, big data & artificial intelligence, and integration of care.  The society will therefore shortly launch calls for applications for five new Innovation Grants of up to € 7,500 each which are designed to support ESA members’ efforts to secure EU funding in those areas.


9. Contact

Further information about the events and opportunities can be found at the links, or please contact Helen Brewer at helen.brewer@esahq.org, tel + 32 496 285 664.