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In early December, EFA attended the Committee of the Regions (CoR) “Interregional Group on Health & Well-being”. The meeting focused on a presentation of the recently released European Commission report on “The State of Health in the EU Cycle”.

Insights into health systems in the EU Member States

The State of Health in the EU is a two-year initiative carried out by the European Commission, providing policy makers, health practitioners, and interest groups with factual, comparative data and insights into health systems in the EU Member States.

Key trends in health systems

Sylvain Giraud from the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) presented five big trends in the transformation of health systems:

- Tackling the decline in vaccination confidence across the EU

- Digital transformation for health promotion and disease prevention

- Strengthening the evidence base on access to healthcare

- Looking at the health workforce

- Understanding access to medicines

Key findings from country profiles

Willy Palm from the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies presented key findings from country health profiles. He emphasized that the country profiles aim to understand the problems national healthcare systems face, allowing to foster innovation and the transformation of the health system.

In Europe, 40 % of mortality is related to behavioural risk factors, Mr Palm said. While smoking for adolescents has decreased across the EU, 17 % of deaths are related to tobacco. There is a total of 1.1 million premature deaths in the EU every year that can be prevented when addressing risk factors accordingly.

Furthermore, Mr Palm highlighted the gap between socio-economic status and life expectancy among but also within EU Member States. There is also a need for healthcare systems to focus on improving accessibility and providing healthcare at the right time.

More information on the State of Health in the EU Cycle report and the Country Health Profiles can be found here.