EU citizens face growing health challenges: Demographic trends with an ageing population are changing disease patterns and putting pressure on the sustainability of EU health systems, whereas climate change is causing new communicable disease patterns. Moreover, pandemics, major physical and biological incidents etc. are posing potential major threats to health.
The strategic objective of the EC Health Policy is to foster good health, protect citizens from threats, and support sustainability of the health systems.
For this, the EU health policy is designed to promote health throughout the lifespan, aiming to prevent health problems and disabilities from an early age, and tackling inequities in health linked to social, economic and environmental factors as well.
- improving safety and security, and protecting citizens against health threats, through scientific risk assessment, preparedness and response to epidemics and bioterrorism, strategies to tackle risks from specific diseases and conditions,
- supporting the actions that promote healthy lifestyles and reduce harmful behaviours throughout the lifespan by tackling key issues including poor nutrition, physical activity, alcohol, drugs and tobacco consumption, environmental risks etc.,
- work on blood, tissues, cells and organs including transplant issues, patient rights safety issues, as well as focus on individualised care, palliative care and cure of specific diseases.
EU assistance to Turkey in "health protection" mainly focuses on enhancing the capacity of the health system to protect citizens against health threats through risk assessment, preparedness and response to epidemics, strategies to tackle risks from specific diseases and conditions, access to quality care in terms of supply of safe blood, tissues, cells and organs including transplant issues and supporting the establishment of community based mental health services. The overall EU assistance is wider when considering projects in the fields of the environment (e.g. safe drinking water), consumer protection and internal market (e.g. regulation of medical products, animal-borne diseases, food safety), and transport (e.g. road safety).