Calls for improved health systems in 16 European countries


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The European Commission has issued recommendations that the governments of 16 Member States invest in their national health systems or improve their effectiveness, increase accessibility and strengthen their resilience. 

Last week, the Commission adopted proposals for country-specific recommendations (CSRs), including on health and investments in health, giving economic policy guidance to all EU Member States for the next 12 to 18 months. 

Amongst the recommendations are that Ireland address the expected increase in age-related expenditure by making the healthcare system more cost-effective. It recommends that Finland improve the cost-effectiveness of and equal access to social and healthcare services. The Commission recommends that Portugal improve the quality of public finances by prioritising growth-enhancing spending while strengthening overall expenditure control, cost efficiency and adequate budgeting, with a focus in particular on a durable reduction of hospital arrears. It recommends Bulgaria improve access to health services, including by reducing out-of-pocket payments and addressing shortages of health professionals.

The Commission's proposals for country-specific recommendations will now be discussed by the Council, where EU countries have until early July to vote on their final adoption. 

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