In a report released on the state of European health systems, the Commissioner calls on the 47 Member States of the Council to ensure “adequate levels of public funding”, stressing that “the budget reduction in primary care and public health has negative repercussions on health outcomes”.
According to Mijatovic, the covid-19 pandemic "exposed its weaknesses and lack of capacity" in European health systems, "stunted" by the austerity measures implemented in several countries after the 2008 financial crisis.
"Hospitals, laboratories and public health agencies have been working beyond their means and there is a lack of diagnostic capacity in many states" and "the provision of personal protective equipment has often been insufficient and social and health workers in the front line face a greater risk of illness and death”, says the commissioner.
Almost a year after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency due to the spread of the new coronavirus, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed close to 750,000 fatalities in Europe.
In the report released, the commissioner says that the lack of adequate public financial support "undermines access to the universal right to health and leads to higher costs in long term".