COCIR calls for greater support for Medical & Digital Health Industry

BRUSSELS – 7 June 2018 - The European Union’s proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 has a strong health dimension, with dedicated funding for health policies as well as for research and innovation, digital market, regional and cohesion funds and other support mechanisms that will increase the impact of health policies. However, COCIR warns that the devil is in the detail, given the proposals recently published by the European Commission for the relevant funding programmes: Horizon Europe, Digital Europe and the Cohesion and Social funds.

Nicole Denjoy, COCIR Secretary General, says, “There needs to be a coherent funding framework that supports medical technologies and digital health solutions throughout the innovation cycle, spanning the various funding programmes. COCIR hopes that the European institutions will work together to finalise the legislative processes in time. Any funding gaps that may prevent European citizens from accessing the latest innovative technologies must be avoided.” She continued “We have proactively developed a mission proposal for digitising healthcare. This has been shared with, and we hope will be supported by, the European Commission and Member States”.

Horizon Europe, the Research & Innovation funding programme, has been allocated €100 billion in the Commission’s proposal. This is the bare minimum; this should be increased to meet the needs of the R&I community. The lessons of Horizon 2020 need to be learned to address ongoing low success rates. The “Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness” pillar will be vital; this is where research is translated into innovation for tackling our health and demographic challenges. Industry’s participation is crucial in bringing innovative health solutions to the market. Therefore COCIR welcomes the fact that both digital and health have been allocated specific sections, including a dedicated budget for supporting the digital transformation of health and care.

COCIR also welcomes the newly-created Digital Europe Programme, supporting the deployment of digital technologies. Health and care are specifically highlighted as areas of public interest, in line with COCIR’s recommendations earlier this year. The EU needs to go beyond research and innovation, funding the large-scale deployment of complex digital health solutions. This will be vital in supporting and scaling up the digital transformation of health and improving access to digital health technologies.

Unfortunately, the Commission’s plans to cut Cohesion Funds by 7% risk undermining the EU’s ability to deliver sustainable future health systems and infrastructure. However, the proposal to link the EU budget and access to funds to the European Semester is a good one. COCIR strongly supports this result, rather than cost, oriented approach as a way to help fund better care and health infrastructure.

The European Social Fund+ Programme specifically includes €413 million for Health. COCIR appreciates and welcomes this excellent opportunity for beneficiaries to use its potential to support capacity building. The Programme should encourage and incentivise development of new care models, both organisational and financing schemes, for more sustainable health systems in the future.

For more information, contact:

Nicole Denjoy 
COCIR Secretary General        
Tel: +32 (0)2 706 8961
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Colin Mackay

COCIR Communications Senior Advisor

Tel: +32 (0) 473 43 07 52

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