Brand calls for broader EU health mandate

Speaking at last week's European Health Forum Gastein in Austria (EHFG), the organization's president Dr. Helmut Brand, PhD, said the EU health mandate, for all the good it has accomplished so far, must be "redefined" in response to critical issues facing the union in 2012.

The challenges of public health and health systems have changed dramatically since the Maastricht agreements created the union, he said, and since then the vision of the EU as a kind of United States of Europe also has evolved as a model for development.

The development of EU health will rely on several critical factors including the following:

  • Further strengthening of the European Parliament to provide the public health sector with a partner at the institutional level
  • Position the EU more strongly in global health issues to cement its role as a major player on the world stage
  • Build on progress in European health information systems to make data on health indicators available as quickly and as broadly as possible

As for the EHFG itself, the organization must retain a perspective that extends beyond the EU borders, Brand said.

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