The EU Health Programme is a funding instrument that supports cooperation among the EU Member States and fosters and develop EU health activities. The third programme took place between 2014 and 2020 and had a budget of €449.4 million spread throughout 23 priority areas. It serves four concrete objectives:

  1. Promote health, prevent disease and foster healthy lifestyles through ‘health in all policies’,
  2. Protect EU citizens from serious cross-border health threats
  3. Contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems
  4. Facilitate access to high quality, safe healthcare for EU citizens.

The next edition of the EU Health Programme will cover the timeframe 2021-2017 and will probably have similar objectives and hopefully a larger budget. It includes two funding mechanisms: grants and tenders. Applications can be submitted via the Chafea website.

The ENRF joined the EU Health Programme High Level Conference with quite a lot of interventions: the current EU Commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis, stressed the importance of continuing strengthening the “health in all policies” approach, the importance of primary care, and the need of reforming our healthcare systems towards sustainable ecosystems. Anne Bucher, the DG Sante Director-General stressed that the EU health programme is meant to invest in people, with a clear focus on the European Pillar of Social Rights and continuing using the ESF+ as a cohesion policy instrument to continue fostering investment in health. She addressed the importance of moving away from hospitals investment towards more tangible elements such as prevention programmes and patient empowerment, integrated care services, primary care, develop homecare and community care, and new patient pathways, and training of health workforce and digitalisation of healthcare. These are topics of utmost importance for the nursing profession, and hence nursing researchers should take the lead and join consortia aiming at implementation research.

For that, nursing researchers should team-up and create cross-border consortiums that apply to EU research funds falling within the EU Health Programme.