Health Policy Update May 2015

Dear political folks,

It has been a while since the last EMSA health policy update and I apologize for this. Exams and many EMSA travels hold me back from writing one, but I will catch this up in the following days! So far, enjoy the EMSA health policy update of May 2015:

Europeanly Yours Pascal Nohl-Deryk, Policy Making Officer 2014-15, European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA) . eMail:

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1) Health in TTIP

So far knowing that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States of America and the European Union will not be ready in 2015, still little is known about the role of healthcare in TTIP.
The European Parliament’s International Trade committee adopted recently a report which, calls the European Commission to exclude public services – including, but not limited to, water, health, social services, social security systems and education – from the scope of TTIP. The EC defends its inclusion of health in the trade talks, also referring to the CETA Agreement. So far, it seems it is up to the member states which sectors of health they want to tackle in TTIP. Public healthcare seems to be excluded, but private healthcare, as well as pharmaceuticals and medical devices are not off the list.
Some more interesting thoughts on the Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) shared Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, in her blog.

Elections in the United Kingdom and what will follow next

On 7 May, general elections were held for the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. Many polls predicted the outcome would be a close call and may result in a hung parliament, but they were proven wrong. These elections had importance for the whole European Union, since anti-EU-movements in the UK brought up the question of the state of membership in the EU.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party won the election clearly with 330 out or 650 seats. Second was Ed Milibands Labour party with 232 seats; the Anti-EU-Party of Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party, just won 1 seat in the new Parliament. The voting system in the UK is quite interesting or strange, depending on the point of view. Just compare the percentage of votes and the number of seats here.
According to new and old Prime Minister David Cameron the british government will hold their promised referendum on the membership the European Union until the end of 2017. Before he wants to negotiate a better deal for the UK, but the success of this attempt is still to question.

A Digital Single Market

A Digital Single Market for Europe is one of the objectives of the European Commission’s term. They set out 16 initiatives to make it happen and number 15. is: ‘define priorities for standards and interoperability in areas critical to the Digital Single Market, such as e-health, transport planning or energy (smart metering).’
This leads to the thought that the EC will try to use eHealth as another way to influence health politics, a field in which the EU has less influence than the Member States. This strategy was underlined by the recent eHealth week in Riga, under the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

One more thing:

Did you know that on average, women in the EU were 28.7 years old when they became mothers for the first time? According to Eurostat in 2013 a slight majority (51,2%) of women in the European Union gave their first birth in their 20s, while 40.6% where in their 30s. Read more on Eurostat’s website.

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