Imagine if the best specialists from across Europe could join their efforts to tackle complex or rare medical conditions that require highly specialised healthcare and a concentration of knowledge and resources. That's the purpose of the European Reference Networks and it's becoming a reality.
Health systems in the European Union seek to provide high-quality, cost-effective care. This is particularly difficult in the case of conditions requiring a concentration of resources or expertise, and even more so with rare or low-prevalence complex diseases or conditions.
EU healthcare policy has furthered cooperation between EU countries, including networking. Some networks benefit from the EU's public health and research programmes, especially in the areas of rare diseases , paediatric cancer and neurological complex diseases.
Such cooperation has been based mainly on bilateral agreements or joint projects in specific fields. Moreover, healthcare access varies widely across the EU. More efficient and coordinated sharing of resources and expertise was thus needed, and can be achieved through the creation of European Reference Networks (ERNs). Read more…