From: EurActiv
Published October 5, 2015 07:00 AM

EU Health Forum considers crisis the new normal

After nearly a decade of economic crisis, an Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and a refugee crisis, experts say that EU health systems must get used to the fact that "shockwaves" are here to stay.

They hope that the Ebola outbreak will be a wake up call, that, without stronger European leadership, healthcare in the EU will come under many threats. 

At the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) on Thursday (1 October), DEVCO, the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, hosted a forum dealing with how to secure health in the EU through development work and international cooperation.

DEVCO's Kevin McCarthy stressed that the bloc aims to strengthen national healthcare systems in developing countries in order to guarantee primary healthcare for all sections of the population, including those who live on the margins of society. This is needed in order to prevent and control pandemics, such as the as the recent Ebola epidemic.

But Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland, argued that despite the significant number of things that the Commission is doing, its leadership could be more determined, visible and stronger.

She called for more leadership in the areas of social protection, universal healthcare and access to health.

Ebola news image via Shutterstock.

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