EU Health Policies
Expert Group on Health Information (EGHI)
The Expert Group on Health Information (EGHI) is a consultative structure with representatives from EU Member States and EEA countries, acceding and candidate countries, and international organisations. The EGHI's overarching aim is to support EU Member States' capability for evidence-based health policy making. The EGHI meets regularly.
In particular, the EGHI:
• advises the relevant Commission Services on health information needs, technical solutions and priorities to support Member States' capability for evidence-based health policy making;
• provides an interface between EU level health information policies, projects and activities and Member State authorities;
• facilitates the implementation of EU-wide health information activities at the national level;
• acts as a platform for cooperation and collaboration on health information at the EU level; exchange information on, and create synergies between, health information activities carried by EU Member States, the Commission, and international organisations;
• shares information and best practice in using health information to inform national health policy and strategy;
• interfaces with national competent authorities, and with other EU expert groups advising on the health component of key EU policies.
Highlights of recent EGHI and EGHI sub-group meetings
7 December 2016: The BRIDGE Health Task Force sub-group, with broad Member State participation, continued its work to steer the preparations to launch a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) on Health information by defining further the ERIC's future tasks. The ERIC Drafting Group sub-group has advanced further in drafting the ERIC application documents and deliberating its possible membership fee structure.
6 December 2016: The EGHI adopted its new Terms of Reference and Work Programme for 2017-2020. Some of the key tasks agreed for 2017-2020 include:
- Providing technical support on mapping common areas of interest among International Organisations (e.g. OECD, WHO…) in view of simplification and reducing the reporting burden on Member States.
- Advising the Commission on evidence gaps in the available health information and country knowledge, and on the need for further action, joint work and research in these areas.
- Providing technical guidance on strengthening existing indicators and addressing priorities as identified by the State of Health in the EU cycle.
- Providing technical guidance for the proposed Joint Action on Health Information leading towards a sustainable EU health information system that supports country knowledge, health research and policy-making.
- Providing technical guidance for the proposed European Research Infrastructure Consortium on Health Information for Research and Evidence-based Policy.
The EGHI also approved the use of the Health Policy Platform, the EU's online tool, for sharing and discussing updates from Member States, Commission Services, and International Organisations, and to create a virtual space where EGHI members could collaborate between the physical meetings.
12 May 2016: The third meeting of the BRIDGE Health Task Force has taken place. The group agreed that the aim of an ERIC should be to reduce the workload on Member States regarding the development of health indicators and the collection of health data through facilitating collaboration between countries and other international organisations and developing indicators where needed.
11 May 2016: The EGHI meeting focussed on the development of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) on Health Information, and reviewed the preliminary draft concept paper for better coordinating EU health information activities, as presented by the BRIDGE Health Project. The EGHI noted the need for sustainability and good coordination in initiatives related to health information in the EU, and agreed that an ERIC would be a potential tool to achieve these goals and to facilitate coordination between activities by the Commission as well as International Organisations such as the OECD and WHO. Those Member States who volunteered to draft the ERIC application documents called for more countries to join the initiative, emphasising that broad ownership is imperative to enable the ERIC to serve the common interests of EU Member States. The EGHI also decided to formalise its role and work programme and agreed that the Secretariat would make a proposal for a consolidated terms of reference by the next meeting.
13 November 2015: The second meeting of the BRIDGE Health Task Force has taken place. The Task Force discussed a number of possible options to set up a sustainable mechanism for health information in the EU. It was agreed that by the next meeting, the BRIDGE Health Project would explore further an ERIC as one of the options. Separately, it was agreed to set up a Drafting Group to consider the possible governance structure of an ERIC.
12 November 2015: The EGHI further discussed the 'State of Health in the European Union' cycle and agreed that the proposed cycle could help identify health information gaps and possible synergies to better target EU actions in the area of health. The EGHI also reviewed and commented the improved European Core Health Indicator Data tool.
20 May 2015: The first meeting of the BRIDGE Health Task Force has taken place. Besides agreeing on the working methods, the Task Force asked the BRIDGE Health Project to produce a first outline of a concept paper on a sustainable mechanism for Health Information in the EU, also including a possible European Research Infrastructure Consortium as a tool.
19 May 2015: The EGHI discussed plans for a 'State of Health in the European Union' cycle whose key objective would be to provide updated health information and analysis on the health status of the EU citizens based on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) as well as other key health indicators. The EGHI participants welcomed the initiative.
28-29 January 2015: In an extra-ordinary EGHI meeting, it was agreed to set up a Task Force to steer the BRIDGE-Health project in its work to inter-link existing health information initiatives, and advise preparations for a potential ERIC on Health Information.
26-27 November 2014: The EGHI reviewed the formal requirements of setting up a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) and agreed to organise an extra-ordinary EGHI meeting to discuss further the possibility to launch an ERIC on Health Information.
20-21 May 2014: The EGHI reviewed the third EU Health programme 2014-2020 and discussed challenges in relation to health information and knowledge systems.
22-23 January 2014: The Ad-hoc Core working group on a potential ERIC on health information presented their deliberations in the document 'A potential ERIC on Health - Scoping paper for considerations of EU Member States and EEA/EFTA countries in the Expert Group on Health Information', The work undertaken by this group was without prejudice to possibly including or excluding any health information task or activity or any entity or Member State, associated country or third State to participate in a potential future ERIC or in any possible future application for EU funding. The Commission services shall not be involved in any preparatory process for such applications.
29-30 May 2013: The EGHI discussed the possibility of establishing a health information European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). See the Non-paper on "Health Information System European Research Infrastructure Consortium" – HIS ERIC, which aims to describe elements of a possible long-term health information and knowledge system.