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Joint Action eHealth Governance Initiative [JA-EHGov] [20102302] - Joint Actions
General objectives

The Joint Action aims to support the eHealth Governance Initiative (eHGI) which functions as platform for technical & political co-operation between Member States on eHealth including their relationship with eHealth Stakeholder Groups which include EU level organisations representing health professionals, hospitals, patients, standards developing organisations & industry. The results of which (recommendations,guidelines) will furthermore support the work of the eHealth Network set up in accordance with Art.14 of the Directive on patients` rights in cross-border healthcare. In the framework of the eHealth Network, the Commission & Member States will discuss and agree on political & strategic issues related to eHealth, in accordance with Art.14 of the Directive, including political prioritization in the eHealth interoperability roadmap and its implementation. To ensure coordination, coherence and consistency between the political level (the eHealth Network) and the expert level (the JA on eHGI), the eHealth Network shall provide guidance for the work of the Joint Action as appropriate.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

Many Member States are today in the process of initiating or rolling out large-scale eHealth investment and implementation programs. Some Member States have been granted financial support from European Structural or Regional Funds in order to reform their national healthcare systems. Thereby, we have a unique window of opportunity to build national solutions on common European or Global standards that enable continuity of care across borders. If we fail, there is a clear risk that national investments will be less efficient, more expensive and not providing the potential benefits for our citizens that otherwise would be possible. National projects could benefit if we can find joint solutions to challenge.

Furthermore, European cooperation on the eHealth area has been running successfully with the support of the European Commission for several years, with an extensive exchange of experiences at expert level. Substantial funding for developing eHealth has been allocated through Community research funds, and MS have moved towards concrete actions to launch cross-border services.

Methods and means

The JA proposal is not a classic technical IT project but intends to create a political driven mechanism to coordinate ongoing and future activities on eHealth in MS and the European space. In order to tackle Council Conclusions and transform words into action it is proposed to define a European eHealth Governance Model based on MS cooperation with an organization and management suited to attain its ambitious objectives. Conceptual and Operational components of the Governance initiative are organized at three levels:

1. Decision Makers` level and political governance;
2. Strategy level and
3. Operational Level.

In the model proposed, the policy group will be responsible for analysing and acting on inputs by strategic and operational level, interacting with the Commissions and stakeholders, annual or periodical review of strategy and declaration of priorities and adopting Strategy Plans and Work Programmes proposed by the Core Strategy Group.

Expected outcomes period

Based on a collaborative model for political, strategic and operational sustainability, the JA will support a new European eHealth Platform in order to establish a permanent network in an international context. It will be used to inform policy and health care decision makers in European countries.
The main outcome of the JA will be the consolidation of the permanent network for eHealth in Europe resulting for recognition of its added value. The commitment expressed by the Ministers of Health of 25 European countries (including both MS and States of the EEA/EFTA) to build a permanent network, with a coordinated MS approach, will be renewed and reinforced by assuring a long-term MS engagement in eHealth Governance Initiative together with the Commission. Additionally, countries not yet involved in the Network, recognise its advantages and join the Initiative while expressing their long-term commitment. At the end of the JA, sustainability of the Network is thus achieved provided by a collaborative platform assuring sustainable growth and employment, quality and continuity of care, etc.

Start date: 01/02/2011
End date: 01/12/2014
Duration: 46 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 853 079,13
Portfolio: eHealth