Health Systems and EU Law and Policy: the state of the art and direction of travel

The UACES Network |

Health Systems and EU Law and Policy: the state of the art and direction of travel

Over 130 people from 16 countries gathered to hear six keynote speakers, and policy responses from fifteen panellists. Panels covered Health systems and patient and professional mobility; Fiscal sustainability of health systems; and Global contexts. Respondents included policy makers from European Commission DGs; national health ministries; and professional and civil society networks and coalitions. The in-person Q&A and the Twitterfeed #HCEU16 made for a lively discussion.

The event both took stock and looked forward, as the effects of EU law and policy on health systems, health care, and public health are better understood. The Patients’ Rights Directive should be implemented, but emerging research data prompted interesting discussions about national compliance. EU law reforms on professional mobility have implications for health care professionals and systemic capacity planning. Assumptions about east-to-west / south-to-north ‘brain drain’ are challenged by data showing complex migration patterns. Health is understood as a ‘productive factor’. Health investment boosts development and growth.

Additionally the conference considered effects of the EU’s health law and policy on the rest of the world. Concerns about the new international trade agreements, such as CETA and TTIP, as well as missed opportunities for the EU to become a leader in global health, raise questions for future research.

The following day, a smaller group met to discuss a forthcoming project publication, a Research Handbook in European Union Health Law and Policy, (Edward Elgar 2017).

Further information, including podcasts and slide presentations are available on the conference website.

Tamara Hervey, University of Sheffield

This event took place in Brussels on 28 January 2016 and received support from a UACES Small event grant.