EU Health nEwSwAtch (Autumn 2018)

EU Health nEwSwAtch (Autumn 2018)

European Commission news

Please consult this link for press releases from DG Santé  (the European Commission department responsible for EU policy on food safety and health) on the following topics:

  • 12 October – European day of Organ Donation and Transplantation – Number of transplants in the EU continues to rise
  • 18 October – Public consultation on legislation on medicines for children and rare diseases launched.
  • 25 October – Fighting anti-microbial resistance in the EU: EU-AMR One-Health Network discussed the recently adopted European Parliament report on AMR, as well as the outcome of the last survey conducted by WHO, FAO and OIE in the context of the monitoring of the Global Action Plan on AMR.
  • 8 November – the meeting of the Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases – a group which covers Patient Safety topics – decided that mental health would be the priority area for best practices and screening of implementable research results in 2019.
  • 21 November – the fourth Conference on European Reference Networks (ERNs) presented the main clinical and organisational outcomes of the networks and identified challenges and margins for future improvements.

WHO news

The WHO Regional Office for Europe published its tri-annual European Health Report 2018. Please consult the link to read the foreword, highlights and full report.

ESA EU outreach

  • ESA recently contributed to a joint response of BioMed Alliance members to a European Commission consultation on the new EU legislative framework around scientific advisory structures for Medical Devices and In-Vitro Diagnostics. The Alliance recommended that European medical professional associations should be involved as advisers to regulators, so that they can identify and recommend qualified individuals from their networks of experts. As a result, ESA President Stef de Hert will participate in a meeting with the European Commission in early 2019 to discuss further how the expert panels might function.
  • The BioMed Alliance is also actively promoting the need for a science-led Steering Board for Health under the next multi-annual funding framework for research and innovation, better known as Horizon Europe. Daniela Filipescu, Honorary ESA member with oversight of EU Affairs, and Executive Manager Marc Gheeraert have been helping to promote this idea in meetings with EU officials and other health policy events taking place in Brussels.
  • The Union of European Medical Specialists (UEMS) organised it’s Fourth Conference on CME-CPD which took place in Brussels on 23-24 November 2018. The bi-annual conference brings together all stakeholder groups with an interest in European Continuing Medical Education such as Scientific Societies, Reviewers, Industry, Patients Organisations, etc. The rapid evolution of medical education and the need to adapt CME in response to new trends, as well as the challenges related to the e-learning tools were highlighted. ESA Scientific Affairs Manager Raffaella Donadio made a presentation on Challenges for Providers.
  • A high-level EU Health Policy Summit took place in late November in Brussels, entitled EU Health Summit – a Shared Vision for Health. Participants from across the health community discussed how Europe could develop and take the lead in areas such as research and innovation, health data and digital health, healthcare organisation and financing as well as health in all policies. Interestingly, an informal poll was taken at the beginning and at the end of the event to ask participants their opinion on the most important focus for improving the health of European citizens. At the beginning of the event, ‘prevention’ was seen to be the priority. By the end of the event, polling identified ‘outcomes’ as the most important focus for health improvement efforts. The event was attended by Daniela Filipescu, Honorary ESA member with oversight of EU Affairs, Executive Manager Marc Gheeraert and EU Affairs Manager Helen Brewer.
  • On 3 December, EU Affairs Manager Helen Brewer attended an event in the European Parliament organised by the Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks (GAMIAN) & the European Psychiatric Association. At the event, entitled New Horizons for Person-centred Mental Health Research and Care, MEP Tomas Zdechovsky provided powerful testimony about the human impact of delayed cognitive recovery after surgery. Stakeholders concluded the meeting by calling on the European Commission as well as on national authorities to ensure more resources for and a stronger focus on patient-centred mental health policies, services and research.

Other news & opportunities

The European Commission launched a public consultation on legislation on medicines for special populations (in particular children and rare diseases) – Interested parties, especially health professionals and citizens, are invited to share their views on the extent to which EU legislation is efficient and effective, and whether it is fit for purpose in the light of developments in the area of pharmaceuticals. It will look in particular at the impact of incentives introduced for research, development and marketing, for these specific medicines. The consultation is open until 4 January 2019.

  • Why should ESA and ESPA participate in the consultation? – to help to shape the EU policy on medicines for children in particular as they relate to anaesthesiology.
  • ESA support required: Paediatric anaethesiologist to provide input to consultation (questionnaire and up to 600 words free text response). Contact Helen Brewer for further information.

Active Citizenship Network EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain – the network makes an annual award for best practices in pain management in different stakeholder categories including health professionals. Winners receive an expenses-paid visit to another winner, and publication about the best practice in the Health Management Journal. Closing date for submission of entries – 31 December 2018.

  • Why should ESA enter the competition? The award provides ESA with an opportunity to raise the visibility of the profession in the domain of chronic pain.
  • ESA support required: Chronic pain expert to provide input to online application. Contact Helen Brewer for further information.

Funding news

Calls for proposals under the EU-funded Marie Curie Sklodowska Actions program opened on 4 December. Funding is available for short-term exchanges of personnel between academic, industrial and commercial organisations throughout the world under the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) program. Research staff of any nationality and at any career level – from PhD preparation to experienced researchers – can undertake a secondment. This action is open to all research areas, and the grant supports the secondment of staff members for one month to one year. They must be engaged in, or linked to research and innovation activities at their home organisation for a certain time prior to the secondment, and must return to their home organisation after the secondment, to pass on their knowledge. Closing date for applications – 2 April 2019. Contact Helen Brewer for further information.


  • All events take place in Brussels unless otherwise noted.
  • Further information about the events and opportunities can be found at the links, or please contact Helen Brewer at, tel + 32 496 285 664.