EU health ministers stress the need to develop efficient and affordable health systems

Brussels (8 December) – In the decades to come, expenditure on healthcare will increase due to aging populations and technological development. In order to ensure the sustainability of health systems, Member States will need to take further measures to ensure populations remain healthy for longer and, at the same time, to create effective, accessible and resilient health systems. The Slovak Minister of Health, Peter Drucker, said in this regard: ‘Aging populations are undoubtedly bearing down upon health systems. According to estimates, the costs of healthcare systems are set to double by 2050.’

On behalf of the Slovak Presidency, Minister Drucker called for a greater involvement of the European health ministers in the process of preparing the European Semester. This would allow health policies to be visualised more accurately and coordinated with other policies. ‘The European Semester has become a major economic instrument for recommending structural reforms in the Member States. As health ministers, we consider our contribution in this area essential, given our main objective of achieving sustainable healthcare systems.’

Finally, Minister Drucker summed up the main results achieved in the field of healthcare during the Slovak Presidency. ‘We have picked up on the work of the Dutch Presidency relating to access to innovative and affordable medicines for EU patients,’ noted Mr. Drucker.

Then he summarised the expert presidential events held at high ministerial level: the September conference in Bratislava devoted to non-communicable chronic diseases and the conference focused on Alzheimer’s disease. During the informal meeting of health ministers of the Member States, the majority of ministers supported the Presidency’s proposal to create a Common European Framework for Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C, which would examine opportunities for political dialogue and cross-border cooperation with countries in the European region.

‘I also want to encourage the upcoming Maltese presidency and other presidencies to continue the discussions that we have raised, because finding a solution should be a common goal for all of us,’ concluded Minister Drucker.