The EU has achieved a lot. That is not a matter of course!

UM – 05/2024

On the occasion of the upcoming European elections from June 6th to 9th 2024, Dr Doris Pfeiffer, Chairwoman of the Board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) has commented on which EU initiatives will be particularly helpful to policyholders what she would like to see during the next five years and why she thinks people should vote.

Dr Doris Pfeiffer, chairwoman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband), is of the opinion that the European Health Data Space (EHDS) initiative is especially important.  It will give an important boost to digitising the healthcare sector. EHDS will make the health data of insured people available throughout the EU. This data will then be readily available - even across borders - and this will improve the medical care provided to everyone. Good care requires the most comprehensive and up-to-date information possible about previous illnesses, medication taken or diagnostics that were previously recorded. This means that it must be available when the treatment takes place. Electronic patient files that contain the necessary information will then be available for this. They can then be called up by the attending physicians. The health data will also be available for research purposes. Merging health data and analysing it will help to further improve healthcare.

Dr Pfeiffer also thinks that it will be particularly important if the EU finalises the pharmaceutical reform quickly after the elections. Then medicines will remain safe and affordable and supply shortages will be avoided as far as possible. This is a pan-European challenge that the EU has taken on through its pharmaceutical strategy. Furthermore, it will be important to find a fair political compromise that takes the interests of those paying contributions for safe and affordable medicines into consideration and one that does not jeopardise sustainable financing for healthcare systems.

According to Dr Pfeiffer, far too little is known about the positive impact that the EU has on people's everyday lives. Many things are taken for granted, but a reference to what the EU has done is never made. The fact is that people can now live, study and work anywhere in Europe whilst still enjoying social security - the EU has created the basis for this through the right of coordination. The EU is also responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical products are equally safe in every country. We should not fall behind with these achievements. This is why it is important to vote and give the EU a strong mandate for the coming legislative period.