The EU institutional changes brought about as a response to the pandemic are substantial and far reaching. EU health policy has often been overlooked and was never on the political agenda. COVID-19 and the pandemic response, however, changed this dramatically. EU-health policy has become centre stage followed by bold investments and new regulatory initiatives. Obvious examples are the EU4Health programme, the Recovery and Resilience fund, the new agency HERA, the new remit for the European Medicines Agency and the European Center for Disease Control. There are also new European Commission mechanisms with regards to the purchase of personal protective equipment, supplies, medicines including vaccines and medical technologies. 

Building a European Health Union is a bold attempt to put health not only higher on the political agenda but also provide additional mandates, funds and programmes. It will clearly contribute to stronger crisis preparedness and crisis response for Europe. What it means, however, for countries in terms of developing the health systems and public health services is still less clear. Will the EU’s new role in health support reforms in countries such as the strengthening of primary and integrated care? Will it support better accessibility to high quality services? Will it help to strengthen the resilience of health systems? What will it bring for health managers in regional and local authorities, sickness funds, public health offices and primary care centers? 

The session is building on the COVID-19 update (forthcoming Oct 2021) of a previously published book on EU-health policy (1st edition 2014, update 2nd edition 2019). In this meet-the-authors event, we will discuss with you the major health related changes of the COVID-19 response. This includes the implications for the health mandate and actions for health. We will also discuss implications for the other policies that are health relevant, like workforce, digital or environment. And course the new rules of economic governance of the EU with a view to investment in health and health systems will be central. 

Facilitated by Dr Matthias Wismar from the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, the session will see the participation of Prof Scott Greer; Dr Sarah Rozenblum; Dr Ellie Brooks; Dr Holly Jarman; and Dr Anniek de Ruijter

Join EHMA 2021, the preeminent European conference on health management, meet with experts from Europe and beyond, and be part of shaping the future of health management.