On 20 December, the UEMO Senior Policy Advisor, Ms. Marie-Christine Bonnamour had a meeting with the Health Attaché of the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU, Mr. Stephen Mifsud. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the top health priorities of the upcoming Maltese Presidency in the Council of the EU and emphasise the added value that UEMO can deliver. Mr. Mifsud informed on the main topics (included in previous article) and commented on what the Maltese Presidency would like to achieve. More precisely:
-On HIV/AIDS the focus will be on a technical meeting. The aim is to reach the UN goals 2020. There will be an expert discussion followed by an expert declaration.
– On Childhood Obesity the European Commission is organising an Action Plan mid-term review. The Maltese Presidency wishes to look at the results and address the deficiencies. It will produce procurement guidelines in food at schools. There will be collaboration with WHO, JRC and the Member States as well as a consultation with the industry.
– On E-health there will be a focus on e-health applications, genetic testing and high-cost medical devices. Ms. Bonnamour, informed Mr. Mifsud that UEMO is a member of the e-health stakeholder group. The team is working on the data on health.
– On access to medicines the focus will be on pharmaceutical prices and transparency. There will be a Member- State meeting on this on February. There are initiatives in workforce. The Maltese Presidency wants to allow doctors to have a training programme and a placement in another Member State in order to expose them to more specialized care.
– On specialised care, the aim of the Maltese Presidency is to provide the foundations for creating an Erasmus network for the specialisation of doctors. For this purpose, it is necessary to have the support from the Commission so as to include the proposal in the 2020 programme.
Ms. Bonnamour underlined that the UEMO is interested in primary healthcare and prevention policies. She emphasized that there is potential for cooperation on childhood obesity. She also proposed to invite a Maltese health attaché to present the policies of the Maltese Presidency during the next UEMO general assembly.