EU Cohesion Policy invests in health, a key asset for regional development and competitiveness, in order to reduce economic and social disparities. Investment may address a number of different areas such as Europe’s ageing population, healthcare infrastructure and sustainable systems, e-health, health coverage, and health promotion programmes.
Health is eligible to receive support under several of the eleven priorities for Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020, including thematic objectives 2 - ICT, 3 - SMEs, 8 - Employment, 9 – Social Inclusion and 11 – Institutional Capacity.
ESI Funds investments in health are closely linked with the health policy framework, including needs assessment and cost-effectiveness.
An important principle of the European Structural and Investment Funds for 2014-2020 is integrated funding and programming. This serves not just to provide improved coordination, but also to achieve integrated development. In the health sector, integrated funding can help ensure the more effective interlinking of actions to address problems. The following key areas can by funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) and the European Social Fund (ESF):
- European Regional Development Fund – health infrastructure and equipment, e-health, research and support to SMEs.
- European Social Fund – health activities linked to active and healthy ageing, health promotion and addressing health inequalities, support to the health workforce and strengthening public administration capacities
- Research and innovation
- Information and communication technologies
- SME competitiveness
- Low carbon economy