COVID-19 has strained healthcare systems across Europe. However, the pandemic also demonstrated that member states can overcome their differences to cooperate in radically new ways. The past two years showed the resilience and innovative potential of health systems. How can the EU and member states go further to create agile health systems that can meet current needs and prepare for future developments – both known and unknown – like climate and demographic change?

On 27 October 2022, the think tank Friends of Europe will hold its annual State of Europe high-level roundtable in Brussels. In the run-up to State of Europe, Debating Europe is convening a series of citizens’ panels, with a mix of citizens and civil society representatives. Each of these citizens’ panels will be matched to a session at State of Europe.

The citizens’ panel we are publishing today met to discuss the future of European healthcare. You can watch the panel in the video above. Taking part were:

  • Dana
  • Joao

Should European health systems be revolutionised or rewired? What is the right way to balance EU action with member state autonomy to improve health equity and meet citizen demands? Is the issue of the EU’s competency on health still the right question? Or is it time to radically rethink public healthcare in a way that does not leave the EU and each member state working on separate tracks? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU-Reform Proactive


    “One of the major similarities across healthcare systems in Europe is that all citizens are included. Even in partially privatized systems, an individual mandate is in place (and strictly enforced) to ensure that healthy people are in the system to help offset the costs of sick people.

    EU countries hold primary responsibility for organising and delivering health services and medical care. EU health policy, therefore, serves to complement …”

    What are the real problems with the National Public Health systems in Europe?

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any requests or complaints by the national authorities (=health ministers), doctors, or healthcare personnel.

    Are they may be so exceptional & unsolvable by national governments that a myriad of organs- from the UN, OECD, and EU to the last bureaucrat in Brussels feel the need to get involved- except the national ministers, doctors and nurses giving & administrating these services on site?

    This situation is more concerning to me than all the available stats, academic reports & political dissertations found on the web- who speak “over the heads” of the local specialists, and their responsible politicians instead of directly to & with them!

    Further, there seems to exist quite a competition and overly concern about OUR health. Why?

    Is the majority of our national Ministers (meeting in Brussels) & consulting experts considered inferior or underqualified, compared to their supranational or international counterparts? If yes- voters should remove/replace them!

    Most people understand the importance to choose a healthy (personal) lifestyle and trust their systems. Of course, with one proviso: geo- and supranational politics must not disrupt nor destabilise any settled and working health systems nationally!

    Who (should do)- does what? Mandate, competence (over) legislation- and adequate investment in health.

    Please check- health system governance in Europe: the role of the EU Council & European Union law- a further step to a unitary EU state?

    “The EU does not define health policies, nor the organisation and provision of health services and medical care. Instead, its action serves to complement national policies and to support cooperation between member countries in the field of public health”

    Are there enough clear delineations to avoid bureaucratic duplications & waste?
    ‎European Commission’s likely role: ‎legislation & spending other people’s money.

    The European Public Health Alliance:

    I can imagine that EU immigration policies & the “all welcome” messages are destabilising the national health systems- because- who on earth can properly plan & provide for the demand fluctuations in the receiving countries (by EU legalised, changing “quotas” & unplanned illegal arrivals) without driving its dedicated personnel to their human limit- just short of their mental collapses’?

    Yes, it is the EU bureaucrats & desk top experts who have little understanding of the pressures & stresses heaped on the healthcare personnel- who are driven to breaking point! No HR protection for them- because they are considered robots!

    The available countermeasures to stop & reverse these political demand “inequalities” on national systems are obvious!

    I could list several!

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