The Informal Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health will take place on April 23rd from 9 am to 5 pm at Hall 3 of the National Palace of Culture.
The agenda includes a discussion on Healthy Nutrition for Children - one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the health sector, with a focus on the provision of healthy food for children. The debates on this topic will be held under the first panel of the programme - " Healthy Future for Europe: Healthy Nutrition for Children " (9.30 - 12.15 p.m.).
The informal meeting will also discuss medicinal products effectiveness and their accessibility, including in the context of the health systems financial sustainability. The discussions will take place during the second panel - "Health as a Real Winner: Effectiveness, Availability and Accessibility of Medicinal Products" which will start at 02.00 p. m.
EU Health Ministers will also pay special attention to the future of healthcare within the Community.
A press conference is scheduled to take place at 04.30 p.m.
You can get information on the programme of the Informal Meeting of Health Ministers in the attachment.
Ministers discussed the EU contribution to healthy nutrition for children and the effectiveness and accessibility of medicines
The challenges facing the European Union in the areas of healthy nutrition for children and the effectiveness and accessibility of medicines, as well as possible ways to deal with them, were discussed during an informal meeting of EU health ministers on 23 April 2018 in Sofia. The topic of healthy nutrition for children raised issues relevant to the future of the EU: the necessity of investing in the young generation, the role of the Common Agricultural Policy in achieving the health objectives, and the possibilities of synchronising the objectives of research with the real needs of health policy.
“The EU’s competitiveness and future depend on investing in the young generation. Our children's health must be guaranteed to ensure the success of this investment. Healthy eating and the availability of high quality food are important prerequisites in order for this to happen. In this sense, the environment plays a key role in the success of any prevention policy”,
said the Bulgarian Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev.
The discussions among Ministers highlighted the important role of the environment and the supply of healthy products as a factor for more effective policies for the prevention of chronic diseases. Opportunities to increase the supply of healthy foods, including through a Common Agricultural Policy focused on health objectives, were at the heart of the debates. The importance of responsible producer practices, including in relation to child-directed marketing – one of the most vulnerable consumer groups – was emphasised.
“We have had a productive debate on the future of healthcare at EU level. This topic will find its continuation during the regular Council of Health Ministers on 22 June in Luxembourg. As the Presidency of the Council, we are convinced that the EU needs more visibility on policies that work for the benefit of people. Health policy should be among them”, Minister Ananiev pointed out.
Another subject of intensive debate was which aspects of the drugs policy EU initiatives should focus on in compliance with the national competences. The participants underlined the need to protect the confidence of patients and regulators in the drugs policy. Ministers also discussed issues related to the effectiveness and accessibility of medicines, including patients' problems caused by parallel drug exports. In this respect, cooperation among Member States is of particular importance.
Minister Ananiev held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Germany for Health Jens Spahn
During the informal ministerial meeting in Sofia, part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Bulgaria held a bilateral meeting with a delegation from Germany headed by Federal Minister Jens Spahn.
The two ministers discussed a number of key issues concerning EU-level cooperation and bilateral cooperation. The topic of the discussion was the legislative proposal for assessing health technologies, with which Germany is in a negative position, as well as the possibilities for expert exchange in the field of drug policy. The possibilities of restricting parallel exports as well as a number of issues of a financial nature were discussed.
Ministers have found a number of similarities to provide a basis for fruitful cooperation in the future. Minister Spahn expressed his support for the good organization of the Bulgarian presidency, claiming support from the German side.
Food Origin and Healthy Nutrition for Children Dr. Dessislava Dimitrova, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
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