Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council: extracts from the joint press conference (Health and Consumer Affairs) by Zofija Mazej Kukovič and Androulla Vassiliou
A meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) was held in Luxembourg on 9 and 10 June 2008.
On 10 June, EU Health Ministers adopted Council conclusions on the reduction of the burden of cancer, in which they called upon the Member States to develop and implement comprehensive strategies for cancer control. Such strategies should include disease prevention, early detection, high-quality treatment, psychosocial support, rehabilitation and palliative care. The Ministers' discussions once again highlighted the great importance of prevention. At least one third of cancers can be prevented. In the conclusions, the Ministers called for the further development and implementation of actions in the field of health promotion and disease prevention with a view to reducing the exposure of individuals to key risk factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful and dangerous consumption of alcohol.
In addition, Ministers adopted conclusions on antimicrobial resistance. The excessive and erroneous use of antibiotics has encouraged the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other micro-organisms. As a result, today, we are faced with the problem that certain traditional treatments have lost their efficacy, which poses a serious threat to public health worldwide as well as in Europe. The Council called upon Member States to establish structures and earmark funds on the prudent use of antimicrobial agents in human medicine.
Regarding the information to patients, Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Health, said that it should be given by the health professionals and by the health authorities of the Member States. She added that it should not be left to the industry. PHOTOSHOTLIST