With the new EU4Health 2022 Work Programme, the European Commission is taking the fight against non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, to the next level.
Specifically, the Work Programme recognizes that non-communicable diseases account for 87% of the burden of disease in Member States and that health promotion and disease prevention can reduce this prevalence by up to 70%. The European Commission has therefore decided to establish a Joint Action on « Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases – Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes » to support Member States in their actions against non-communicable diseases with a budget of EUR 55 million. In particular, the Joint Action will support the implementation of disease prevention and health promotion projects, such as evidence-based interventions (validated best practices, promising evidence-based practices, results of research projects).
Additionally, to complement Member States’ actions, the Work Programme dedicates specific grants of up to €10 million to civil society organizations supporting actions on non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (e.g. health professionals or patient associations, academia, …). This includes, in particular, providing input to the development of public health guidelines, awareness-raising activities, training, pilot projects on early detection, or other activities that directly benefit citizens.
The EU SHD Coalition welcomes this investment, which could definitely support more action to improve early detection of SHD. Considering the limited awareness and knowledge about SHD in Member States, this is a strong opportunity to promote the exchange of best practices and help physicians in the early detection of these diseases, improve the quality of life and facilitate access to treatment for patients with SHD. Importantly, the Coalition is now calling on Member States to prioritize SHD in national interventions covered by the Joint Action. The Coalition will also inform its partners about the calls for proposals targeting civil society organizations.
Finally, the Coalition welcomes the strong emphasis in the Work Programme to include an equity dimension with the goal of reducing health disparities. Patients living with SHD still face age and gender discrimination when it comes to identifying their conditions or accessing treatment in Member States. The Coalition is therefore confident that the 2022 Work Programme 2022 can help address these inequalities.
The EU4Health 2022 Work Programme is available here.