On 19 April 2019, MEP Rory Palmer (S&D, UK) asked the European Commission what their view was on making screening for structural heart disease and other age-related conditions part of the EU Health Programme?
On 3 July, the European Commissioner for Health Vytenis Andriukaitis answered on behalf of the European Commission. He stated that EU Member States are responsible for the definition of their health policy and for the organisation and delivery of health services. Therefore, implementing established screening programmes for structural heart disease falls under the competence of Member States.
However, he added that the Commission complements actions and supports Member States in meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For example, following a call of proposals in 2018, Lithuania, Romania and Luxembourg expressed their interest for the transfer of the Italian best practice CARDIO 50 to their countries. He likewise pointed to the activities of the project ‘YOUNG50 #Stay Healthy-Cardiovascular Risk Prevention' which is implementing this transfer and is co-funded by the EU Health Programme. He added that this started in May 2019 and they are currently assessing the feasibility of the implementation of the CARDIO 50 model and adaptation of the existing materials and IT tools to the local context. The action may also include limited scale pilot screening in selected regions and cities and for a limited period of the project. Finally, the consortium will evaluate the impact of the action and explore its institutionalization.
He concluded that this process was part of the Commission’s holistic approach towards working with Member States to identify and implement best practices to address non-communicable diseases including heart disease selected by the Commission’s Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Disease as a validated best practice.
For more information, the Parliamentary Question and its answer can be found here.