EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne has launched a reflection process on what Europe needs to do to achieve good health across the EU.
‘I believe that achieving good health for all the European population should be our main goal at a time when there is concern that health inequalities across the EU are widening,’ he said in a speech in July. ‘One way to achieve this goal is to put health at the very centre of EU policy-making and to ensure that all policies contribute to health’
To support this process, the commissioner shared an 11-page reflection paper expressing his own ideas on what the EU can do to promote health. These include the role of good health as a driver of economic growth, the need to promote good health and prevent disease, rather than just treating illness, and the urgency of addressing health inequalities both between Member States and within them. Making health a shared responsibility of citizens, national governments and the EU is at the heart of this reflection.
Much of the first section dedicated to health inequalities highlights the significant variations in life expectancies and disease incidence rates for men between countries. In line with the results of the EMHF report on the State of Men’s Health in 17 European Countries, the document unequivocally condemns these inequalities. It is one the very first times that men’s health is officially given such a high profile at EU level.
The European Men's Health Forum, along with other main stakeholders of health in Europe will be responding to Commissioner Byrne’s call for input to this reflection process by mid-October. The detail of our contribution will be published on this website soon after.