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Public Health Programme DG SANCO 2008-2013

Description and healthcare programme

Description and healthcare programme

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers ( DG-SANCO) has worked for years in the areas of health and consumer protection to make the lives of European citizens healthier and safer. Although health lies primarily with Member States, the EU undertakes responsibilities in certain areas, such as cross-border health threats, patient mobility and reduction of health inequalities.

The outline of the EU's health policy was drawn up in 2002 and structures and systems were developed to implement it. Thus, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), with headquarters in Stockholm, was established to address health threats, cross-border cooperation between healthcare systems was promoted, and study began on issues vital to health.

Recently the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs (DG-SANCO) created the official public health web portal of the European Union (HEALTH-EU) with information and details on health-related matters and activities on a European and international level. The main objective of this thematic gateway is to provide European citizens with easy access to comprehensive information on EU programmes and initiatives. The web page also aids in meeting EU public health objectives, has a positive influence on individual behaviour, and fosters continuous improvement in the public health of the 27 EU Member States. HEALTH-EU also is a significant source of information for healthcare professionals, governments, policy makers and stakeholders.

Public health priorities of the current EU programme are health inequalities, cross-border issues, illnesses caused by the most widespread diseases, such as cancer, and addressing mental health. The programme has a budget of €321.5 million euros for the period 2008-2013 and focuses on three areas: improving the health safety of citizens; promoting health to increase prosperity and solidarity; and generating and disseminating health knowledge. Further information about the current EU public health programme and European projects underway can be found in the relevant section of the European Projects Office.

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