European health union edges closer

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The creation of the European Health Data Space will allow Cypriots to share health data such as their medical history with doctors and hospitals in other EU states.

“We are one step closer to the European Health Union”, said Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on the proposal submitted by the European Commission for adoption by the Council and the European Parliament.

“This important new initiative of the European Health Data Space will enable citizens to share health data, such as their medical history, test results or prescriptions, with hospitals and doctors within and between Member States,” Kyriakides told CNA.

“If a Cypriot travels to Germany and falls ill there, the local doctor will be able to access their medical history in German and prescribe the necessary medicine.

“If a cancer patient needs medication that the oncologist in Cyprus has prescribed, they will be able to get it in any part of Europe.

“Health in Europe is becoming more interconnected and integrated, for the benefit of citizens and researchers and the European health industry.

The European Health Union “includes initiatives that not only put the patient at the centre but make our Union more resilient and more capable of dealing with crises and long-term challenges, such as equal access to medicines, optimal cancer care, vaccine and medicine; stockpiling.”

Kyriakides and Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said that EHDS would be a quantum leap forward in how Europeans receive healthcare, empower citizens to utilise their data and help develop a genuine single market for digital health products and services.

The new framework establishes a common European standard for recording patients’ medical records, prescriptions and other data, and electronic health systems should now be interoperable with each other.

Each Member State will also have to designate a specific digital health authority.

A legal framework is also being created to use health data in research and innovation, and policymaking, setting conditions for researchers and businesses to access this data.

Access will be regulated by the competent body for health data, only for specific purposes, in closed environments and to protect the person’s identity.