Tuesday, 2 December 2008


People used to think that Health was one of the few remaining areas where the EU didn't have much control.Think again. The NHS Confederation now has an office in Brussels and six people working full time lobbying the EU.

The NHS’s European office was revealed by UKIP MEP Roger Knapman in a letter to the Western Morning News. According to the Confederation's website the office was set up to inform NHS organisations of key EU developments and to promote the priorities and interests of the NHS to the European institutions. A more sceptical view is that it is all part of a plan for the EU to take control of health services in the 27 member countries.

The Commission has adopted a so-called White Paper COM(2007)630 final – Together for Health: a Strategic Approach for the EU for the period 2008-2013. As yet there are no directives but a number of policy decisions have been made. For example, Decision 2000/96/EC refers to a list of communicable diseases and Decision 2002/263/EC lays down definitions for reporting communicable diseases.