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Strengthening efforts on common EU and Norwegian health challenges

Ansgar Gabrielsen, Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services, and Markos Kyprianou, Commissioner for Health, exchanged thoughts on current health issues during the World Health Care Congress in Paris on 8 April. The upcoming eHealth conference and pandemic influenza were key issues.

11/04/2005 :: The EU eHealth conference, held in Tromsø, Norway, on 23 – 24 May in cooperation with the Luxembourg Presidency and the Commission, is the third of its kind and will be based on the 2004 eHealth Action Plan achievements.

Ministers and high-level representatives from the Commission, EU Member States, Candidate Countries, and EFTA states will participate at the conference.  

The focus of the conference will be on the support of more responsive health services, providing better health information and public awareness, facilitating mobility within and between countries, and improving access to quality care, patient safety and productivity. 

“The meeting with Kyprianou was very productive. We agreed to increase our cooperative efforts in order to strengthen preparedness in case of a pandemic flu breakout,” said Gabrielsen.

As an EEA member Norway is a participant of the EU network on early warning in relation to a pandemic influenza. During Gabrielsen’s visit to Paris Kyprianou invited Norway to participate in an EU preparedness and response exercise in the event of a pandemic breakout.

Norway is one of the countries that has already implemented measures against the breakout of a pandemic flu, having stocked up on vaccines and medicine.

“We also exchanged ideas on the possibilities of reducing alcohol-related health problems. Kyrpianou emphasized that alcohol abuse is an increasing European problem, and that this is one of his priority areas,” Gabrielsen added.

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Minister Gabrielsen met with Commissioner Kyprianou on 8 AprilPhoto: Ministry of Health and Care services