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Europe's health information systems to be modernised

Joint EC-WHO work will form a major strand of their renewedcollaboration

World Health Organization health

The European Commission wants public health information systems across the region to be improved and will continue its efforts to establish an EU health information system.

The work, which could lead to formalised health indicators and the collection and analysis of country specific information, is a key part of the EC's renewed collaboration with the World Health Organization.

The EC and the WHO's Regional Office for Europe first outlined their plans for joint-working in 2010 and earlier this month EC's health and food safety commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis and WHO EURO director Zsuzsanna Jakab set out the objectives for their continued cooperation.

In a joint declaration the EC and WHO said: “Building and sustaining a quality health system, including a health information component, remains a core task and a duty of every government. 

“By creating healthy environments and investing in health systems, health promotion and disease prevention as well as addressing lifestyle related risk factors, local and national communities increase the quality of life and life expectancy of people, diminish the pressure on public budgets and contribute to the economy as a whole.”

Over the next four years the institutions have committed themselves to increasing their cooperation in health information and five other areas: health security, health inequalities, health systems and chronic diseases.

The primary cause of death and disability across Europe, chronic and non-communicable diseases have a heavy impact on health and social systems and on their cost for society. Here the partners said they would particularly focus on cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, healthy ageing and dementia.

“The shift from treatment to prevention and promotion is essential to ensure the long-term sustainability of the health and the whole welfare systems,” the EC and WHO said. 

In recent years joint EC and WHO initiatives have included a European Code Against Cancer - which provides ways to adopt healthier lifestyles and boost cancer prevention across Europe - and a study of pharma's R&D priorities.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

29th September 2015

From: Healthcare

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