The eHealth 2008 conference,with the theme of ‘eHealth without frontiers’ was held in Slovenia between May 6-7, 2008.This is the sixth in a series of high-level eHealth conferences that have taken place since 2003, and the first held in one of Europe’s new Member States.These conferences are key dates in the eHealth annual policy awareness-raising agenda.
The theme of ‘without frontiers’ was especially important to the Slovenian presidency as Slovenia removed local, national border crossings at the start of the presidency. In terms of health, ‘without frontiers’ highlights were among others:
•The collaborative work being done on good practices in eHealth;
•The focus on cross-border healthcare provision;
• Ongoing proposals on eHealth interoperability, and
•The integrating work to be undertaken in the future in the prospective eHealth large-scale pilot and new telemedicine initiatives.
EU to Act on Health Security
During the upcoming French Presidency, the Commission is to launch discussions on health security issues and how the EU action should be structured in this field.The EU executive presented a specific 'health security package' on 25 June. Part of this package was the longawaited cross-border healthcare proposal confirmed by Public health director Andrzej Rys at DG Sanco at the European Commission. Defining some of the future EU health priorities, Dr. Rys said these were to ensure a safe, efficient and equitable access to cross-border healthcare and tackling major health threats.
According to Commission sources, there could be important developments in the implementation mechanism of the EU health strategy, including an increased EU involvement.
In particular, a specific Commission-Council group could be established to plan the strategy and assure its overall coherence with the real health problems faced by member states.
EU Affairs Editor