29 Mar

The EPSCO Council of Health Ministers took place on 29 March 2022 in Brussels. On behalf of Hungary, Prof. Dr. Ildikó Horváth Secretary of State for Health attended the meeting.

The Ministers took stock of healthcare related tasks concerning the war in Ukraine, including   direct aid for the country and the full-scale healthcare provision for the refugees.

Ildikó Horváth confirmed that significant capacities have been reserved in the Hungarian health system to provide care for everyone in need. We are prepared to receive and care for refugees, both in terms of hospital capacity and in primary and chronic care, having special regard to oncology as well. In addition to helping refugees arriving at our country (e.g. enhancing entering points/immigration authorities for better entrance, transport - Hungarian Railway Company services with free tickets, buses as well -, reception/accommodation facilities etc.), Hungary considers it important to provide direct help to Ukraine as well. Therefore, under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the Hungarian Government has sent medicines, medical and special surgical equipment and further medical countermeasures besides the thousands of tons of food and hygienic products, fuel etc. Furthermore, under the rescEU programme, Hungary delivered ventilators, monitors and infusion pumps to Ukraine and Moldova. The Hungary Helps programme is also active in organizing and providing bilateral aid.

Besides the Ukraine situation, ministers had exchange of views on the future steps of the European Covid-19 vaccination strategy, particularly support provided to third countries. During the working lunch, heads of delegations/ministers discussed possibilities of deepening the European Health Union in the field of rare diseases.