Health topics during the Romanian Presidency to the European Union

In January Romania took over the European Union Council Presidency for the first time since the country joined the Union in 2007. Until June 2018, Romania is ensuring the follow up on key policies, such as the Health Technology Assessment, access to affordable and innovative medicines, the advance of eHealth and vaccination. On their agenda there is also financial growth, security, social cohesion, and the global role of the EU.

Access to healthcare is the Presidency’s central theme, aiming to guarantee access for all European citizens, acknowledging that investing in healthcare can help tackle inequality. The informal meeting of Union Health Ministers on 14-15 April foresees a debate on access to innovative medication and treatment, which aims to gather political commitment to finding common solutions to cross-cutting issues related to access and affordability of medicines.

Health Ministers are also expected to discuss the effective implementation of Directive 24/2011/ on patients’ rights in cross-border, particularly focusing on improving access to treatment for patients with rare diseases across the European Union.

On digital health, Romania will organise a European conference on eHealth in Bucharest during the EU ‘Digital Week’ in June.

In the legislative field, the ongoing highly political Health Technology Assessment Regulation shall be tackled to achieve further progress during the period of the Romanian presidency in view of the Finnish presidency, which is the next one.