Progressive health ministers pledge their full support to Ukrainians

Progressive health ministers pledge their full support to Ukrainians

Ministers also discussed preparations for the EPSCO Health Council, including the EU’s approach to COVID-19 vaccine solidarity and the common response to rare diseases. As stated in the joint declaration The future of Europe’s healthcare: ending inequalities and improving quality of life for all cannot wait, PES ministers support public funding in the fight against diseases for which pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to invest.

Danish Minister for Health Magnus Heunicke, said:

“It is our responsibility as health ministers to ensure that Ukrainian refugees have immediate and full access to healthcare, as is their right under European and national law.

“The activation of the Temporary Protection Directive is a landmark moment for European solidarity, and we will do everything we can to make sure displaced Ukrainians in the EU are given the treatment they need for acute and chronic conditions, including mental health support for those who have experienced trauma, as well as COVID-19 vaccines.

“At the same time, our governments are working through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide what assistance we can to the people who remain in Ukraine. We firmly condemn attacks on healthcare facilities, which may constitute war crimes.”

Ministers welcomed Commissioner Ylva Johansson’s announcement of the establishment of an EU Solidarity Platform. In particular, they praised the solidarity mechanism that will allow people in urgent need of specialised hospital treatment to be transferred between Member States.

Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE), an instrument put forward by Commissioners Elisa Ferreira and Nicolas Schmit, will allow Member States to use their allocations from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund to help provide healthcare, education, housing and employment to Ukrainian refugees.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Magnus Heunicke, Meeting Chair, Minister for Health, Denmark
  • Aki Lindén, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Finland
  • Karl Lauterbach, Minister of Health, Germany
  • Roberto Speranza, Minister of Health, Italy
  • Aurel-George Mohan, State Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Romania
  • Tiemo Wölken MEP, S&D Coordinator in the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament
  • Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General