Spain will promote the new Transplant Directive and "e-Health"

The new European Directive on organ donation and transplants and the promotion of "e-Health" will be two of the strategic topics of the Spanish Presidency of the EU, according to the presentation by the Minister of Health and Social Policy, Trinidad Jiménez, before the Health Commission of the European Parliament.

Trinidad Jiménez also stated that the Spanish Presidency of the EU will try to drive forward a "very ambitious" proposal on cross-border medical care that "respects the basic principles of patient safety and quality", given that health is "a public good, not just another market commodity". Before the Health Commission of European Parliament, she stressed that Spain considers it is essential "to request prior authorisation" when patients receiving medical treatment in another Member State or to establish a system of control for public and private health centres across the whole of the EU.

Trinidad Jiménez highlighted the objective of having a new European Directive on quality and safety for organ donation and transplants that, in addition to incorporating common elements, includes the best organisational and healthcare practices of Member States. Jiménez highlighted Spain's experience in this field, which has a model of donation and transplants organised around the values of solidarity and equality, cohesion, quality and innovation. She also provided information on a high-level conference on organ transplantation to be held on 23 March in Madrid.

To promote "e-Health", which consists of the application of new information technologies to medical care, a ministerial conference has been called in collaboration with the European Commission, which will be held in Barcelona between 15 and 18 March. "e-Health" will provide time savings in medical care and the treatment of patients across borders. Jiménez stressed that new digital technologies are a key element to ensuring innovation, quality and cohesion of healthcare systems.

The Spanish Presidency will also continue with the review of the legislation on medicines started by the Czech and Swedish Presidencies, especially the directives and regulation on counterfeit medicines and drug surveillance, and with the development of the regulatory programme on food safety and consumer information, following the work of the Swedish Presidency. Actions promoting the European Strategy on health issues related to excess weight and obesity health issues will be promoted as well as a proposal on the reduction of salt consumption.

Lastly, Trinidad Jiménez reiterated her commitment to work to achieve a consensus among Member States on the Cross-border Healthcare Directive, a fact that she had already stressed before the European Commission at the very beginning of the Spanish Presidency.