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Prof. MUDr. Vlastimil Válek, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health

Prof. MUDr. Vlastimil Válek, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health

We are living through a difficult time plagued by civil and health threats.

The COVID-19 pandemic and Russian aggression have certainly changed the way we think about global health and our lives. What these threats have not changed, however, are our plans and attitudes concerning quality healthcare for European citizens. The goals and priorities we have presented remain relevant and important. We need to move forward. Experience from recent years has prompted us to start implementing our ideas so that we can do even better in the years to come.

We are aware of the inequalities and individuality in Member States’ experiences in the healthcare sector and are committed to leading dialogue across Europe in order to achieve unity. Our priority is to improve citizens’ health through a high-quality and comprehensive healthcare system that is efficient, fair and accessible to every European. In the future, it will be very important to provide free access to primary healthcare for all. Quality of life for children, young people and seniors living in the European Union is a priority.

Together with my colleagues, I welcome this opportunity to share our experience with European citizens during our Presidency of the Council of the EU. I would therefore like to present to you the health priorities of our Presidency.

Within the framework of our informal EPSCO Council meeting, we will continue to look for ways and options to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and improve the EU’s preparedness for future health crises.

It is also important to address long-term EU priorities in areas such as oncology, the European Public Health Data Space, medicines, rare diseases and vaccination.

One of our priority agendas is cancer. It is also one of the key priorities of the EC, which issued

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan last February.

We also organised a conference on oncology, the results of which will be discussed at the September ministerial meeting.

We would also like to initiate and advance the discussion within the framework of the European

Health Data Space, which aims to harmonise health data sharing

in digital form for research, innovation and policymaking, as well as cross-border healthcare provision.

The topic of vaccination is equally important. A particular priority is increasing confidence in vaccination and combating misinformation, an area strongly supported by the EC.

Topics such as the current refugee crisis and its consequences, or future challenges such as the expansion of disease areas in relation to climate change will also be important.

We believe that discussion and solving problems and challenges will strengthen our families, our communities and public health as a whole. Through our Presidency, we are determined to contribute to helping to make the European Union a better place for all.

Prof. MUDr. Vlastimil Válek, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health

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