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Lessons from COVID-19: How can we make our health systems more resilient?


Lessons from COVID-19: How can we make our health systems more resilient?


The COVID-19 public health crisis has highlighted that the EU and Member States need to do more regarding preparedness and response planning for epidemics and other serious cross-border health threats.

The pandemic has revealed the lack of medical countermeasure stockpiles at EU and Member State level and the vulnerability of EU supply chains for critical medical countermeasures. It has also highlighted the lack of a coordinated and systematic EU-level approach to support the development, production, procurement and purchase of necessary vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices.

In her 2020 State of the Union address, EC President von der Leyen called on Europe to draw lessons from the current crisis and build a European Health Union. In November 2020, the Commission put forward a set of proposals to strengthen the EU's health security framework and reinforce the crisis preparedness and response role of key EU agencies.

The pandemic has also accelerated the digital transformation of healthcare, and boosted innovation in how patients can receive care. “A Europe fit for the digital age” is one of the six political priorities of the Commission 2019-2024, and the EU is working on a digital transformation of health and care.

What else can the EU and Member States do to make our health systems more resilient? Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and how our health systems can adapt and become more resilient. The likelihood of another global pandemic in the next 20 years is a reality. Whenever it may come, there will be no excuse for a lack of forward planning.

Supported by:





Wolfgang Philipp, Head of Unit, Health Emergency Response and Vaccines, DG SANTE, European Commission
Jytte Guteland, MEP, Member of ENVI, European Parliament
Ioannis Vardakastanis, Member of EESC, President of the European Disability Forum
Genya Dana, Head of the Health & Healthcare Platform, World Economic Forum
Iskra Reic, Executive Vice-President, Europe and Canada, AstraZeneca
Jan-Willem Scheijgrond, Head of Government and Public Affairs, Philips


Brian Maguire, Journalist, EURACTIV


14:30 - 14:35 Welcome
14:35 - 14:50 Panellist statements
14:50 - 15:50 Discussion and Q&A
15:50 - 16:00 Closing statements


Matea Krivanek