The most important change in EU Health care policies have not been done by the Council or the Parliament but as I concluded in my previous post about the Swedish Presidency they didn’t really impact future healthcare policy during their last 6 month of power. Instead if anyone in the future will say that in second half of 2009 this happened and it really changed healthcare policy it will not be something that the Presidency did but what Barroso did when he moved several responsibilities from DG Industry to DG Sanco and appointed Dalli as health commissioner. The appointment of someone with a background in finance etc could show to be very important for the development of European healthcare policy.
This week Dalli will be heard/questioned in the EP. The answers will give us the first indication towards what direction the EU commission now will take in the area of public health. Ie if the changes will be more than formalities.
I'm quite sure most of the questions will be on the Directive for Patients Rights at cross border care but that also the Patient Information issue will be raised. One or two disease areas will most likely get their 15 min in the spotlight. Business as usual for the main part.
But what I hope someone will ask is:
- Will DG Sanco now take a real responsibility for the facilitation of a sustainable European health sector with empowered healthcare consumers trusted to really take their health into their own hands - instead of merely in all healthcare policy issues take the position that patients needs to be safeguarded and taken care off.
But that will most likely not happen. Not yet. Maybe next time. When the effects of the organisational changes starts to set in.