The EU today launches the European Medical Corps to help mobilise medical and public health teams and equipment for emergencies inside and outside the EU.
Through the European Medical Corps, EU Member States and other European countries can make medical teams and assets available for rapid deployment when an emergency strikes – thus ensuring a faster and more predictable response.
"The aim of the European Medical Corps is to create a much faster and more efficient EU response to health crises when they occur. We need to learn the lessons from the Ebola response; a key difficulty was mobilising medical teams. I thank all the Member States that have already contributed so far, and encourage others to join so the EU's response will be able to meet increasing needs and will allow for better planning and preparation before any disaster," said Commissioner Christos Stylianides who is hosting today's high-level inauguration event in Brussels.
The European Medical Corps is part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism's new European Emergency Response Capacity (or 'voluntary pool'). So far Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands have already committed teams and equipment to the voluntary pool. The Medical Corps include emergency medical teams, public health and medical coordination experts, mobile biosafety laboratories, medical evacuation planes and logistical support teams.
In an effort to step up the EU's preparedness and response to disasters, the European Emergency Response Capacity ('voluntary pool') was created in 2014, bringing together a range of pre-committed relief teams and equipment, for deployment in emergency response operations all over the world. These assets are kept on standby and made available as soon as needed for EU civil protection missions all over the world.
As part of the European Emergency Response Capacity, the European Medical Corps also relies on voluntary contributions of EU Member States. Medical teams and equipment are made available so they can be rapidly deployed to provide medical assistance and public health expertise for emergencies.
The European Medical Corps will also be Europe's contribution to the Global Health Emergency Workforce being set up under the helm of the World Health Organisation.