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HEALTH-EU: The Public Health Portal of the European Union

Health - EU
   

Health-EU is the Public Health Portal of the European Union launched on 10 May 2006. It provides a single point of entry where citizens, administrations and health specialists can find and exchange health related information and data from EU, national and sub-national levels. It is available at http://health.europa.eu

Last update: December 2009


Objectives

The creation of an EU public health portal is an initiative under the Public Health Programme 2003-2008.
  
The portal allows better and simplified access for citizens, patients, policy makers and other interested persons to data and information on public health, to all Commission activities on public health and related areas (for instance on patient mobility aspects), and to public health work in national administrations throughout Europe.
  
EU policy and activities on Health Information are of crucial importance and increasingly essential both for evidence-based decision-making and for private decisions on behaviour and lifestyle. 
Health-EU makes available more quality information, and helps to increase transparency and institutional coordination and communication, as well as empowering and delivering more to the citizens.
   
The Portal also facilitates access to EU publications and legislative acts adopted by the European Communities. The EU is supporting promotion of information to provide the EU population with a clearer overview of the existing legal framework. This is a fundamental step towards making people aware of their rights and of the advantages they can benefit from as citizens of the EU.

The Portal provides European citizens with simple, clear, trustworthy  and health-related news and events in 22 languages.
It has also a bimonthly newsletter in 22 languages with a selection of the latest news and activities in the field of public health at both European and international level.
 
   
Technical Functionalities & Approach

One of the key features of the Portal is that it provides in a thematic way a picture of health issues at Community level. There are six themes and each of these leads to various topics of interest, where people will find a range of links to policies and activities in the European Union.
  
Each of these themes and topics are replicated across all the 27 Member States, EEA and accession countries, and there are moreover comprehensive links to European NGOs and international organisations.
  
Furthermore, it includes the creation of a capacity to generate and collect relevant health information at EU level, as well as the possibility of editing results for electronic publishing from other EU projects.
  
The portal has a comprehensive search and linkage mechanism that will make the information at EU level and beyond, easily available to users. In addition, data content has been designed to serve the various users.
   
The portal is to be hosted by the Commission services and is managed in close co-operation with the Member States through the Public Health Portal Editorial Board composed of representatives from the Commission and the Network of Competent Authorities (NCA). The Editorial Board shapes the editorial policy of the Health Portal, advises on thematic approaches and nominates experts who will identify the national websites to which the Portal could be linked.
   
A group of portal correspondents from all Commission services was created to further develop the design of the Portal and in order to put a communication structure into place.
   
In the longer term, the Commission will look to the Board and Member States to revise and update the core content, events, news and initiatives at EU and regional levels. There will be a highly visible link to the Commissioner’s website and to the respective Presidency of the EU.
 
 
Potential Beneficiaries

By offering a single access point for information on public health, a clear thematic structure and an easy navigation, Health-EU benefits various parties.

Citizens and patients
:
has better, user-friendlier and multi-lingual access to topic health information, general statistics, as well as descriptive data and information at pan-European level.

Professional audiences
:
this includes health professionals, teachers, students, policy makers and civil servants in public administrations who need access to timely, accurate and comparable descriptions of health situation, health determinants and health policies in the EU.
 
    
The role of IDABC

IDABC has financed the development phase of the Portal and shares the accumulated experience obtained through the development of the Your Europe Portal. The Health Portal also makes use of CIRCA as a networking tool for the Editorial Board and the data providers, as well as of TESTA.
 

Key Data

Project start date
2002
Project completion date
2006
Project status
Ongoing
Service in charge
Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (SANCO)
Responsible action manager
MERONI Donata
Contact
Countries involved
All EU Member States. Candidate countries and EEA countries will be involved to a certain extent.
Public websites

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Documentation