27th May 2021  
Thanks to the Workforce
May 12 was International Nurses Day and our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the workforce engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic, who tirelessly and selflessly put their life on the line. It is thanks to their full devotion that we are able to successfully fight the pandemic.
This month we also have the European Week Against Cancer (#EWAC2021). Organized by the Association of Cancer Leagues in collaboration with its member leagues and partners across Europe, this event takes place every year between 25 and 31 May to unite Europe in the fight against cancer, under the one banner.
This year, this international awareness week, focuses on shaping the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (#EUCancerPlan) – a core priority of the European Commission in the 2019-2024 legislative term. UEHP has been closely following the EU Cancer Plan and we believe that the private hospital sector is clearly a relevant partner in the fight against Cancer and against the large inequalities in European cancer care.
Our sincere congratulations to Oscar Gaspar, UEHP Vice President, for his engagement in the OPORTO DECLARATION, a fruitful initiative supporting Health in EU27. The participation of so many stakeholders, professional and patient associations reinforces the global strategy of a European Health Union for more health in Europe.
The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the importance of working together and let’s hope it will open our minds to new and efficient collaborative processes.
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
Oporto Declaration
The Private sector takes a stand for more resilient, sustainable and inclusive health systems
Oscar Gaspar, President of APHP (Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals)
The 3rd of May 2021 is the day that 23 associations of the private health sector stood together for more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive health systems.
On the occasion of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and as a response to the concerns of EU citizens regarding not only COVID-19 but also their legitimate expectations about access to care, private health stakeholders reaffirmed their capability and willingness to contribute to the development of more resilient and sustainable health systems, while urging national and EU authorities to make health a priority, not to miss the opportunity of the digital transformation of health and to promote investment.
The initiative brought together private health stakeholders from diverse areas such as research, development and manufacturing, the pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical distribution, pharmacies, the medical device industry, outpatient providers, hospitals, and providers in key areas such as information and communication technologies.
João Neves -Portuguese Deputy Minister for the Economy
Some of the key aspects among the 19 points of the Oporto Declaration:
  1. Health must be a national priority in every EU country, to meet people's legitimate expectations, to address demographic, innovation and disease burden challenges and in the EU as a way of responding to pandemic threats across borders and ensuring timely access to inclusive, resilient and sustainable health systems;
  2. Current and future health challenges bind us to the urgent need to position Europe as a Leader in Health, preserving its Strategic Autonomy, Sustainability and Accessibility;
  3. Health gains and the strategic sovereignty that the EU aims to achieve must be attained by stimulating investment in health and by a coherent and transparent articulation between sectors. Health care resources must be optimised, and this requires dialogue and partnerships between the public, private and social sectors;
  4. Private health stakeholders have a significant bearing not only in the healthcare sector but also in the European economy and are natural and relevant partners in the various health systems;
  5. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and at a time when the intention is to strengthen the strategic autonomy of Member States and the EU, the right conditions must be created for increased investment in Europe by health-related industries; it is nonetheless essential to simplify bureaucracy and reduce the associated costs which distort the market and inhibit private investment in health,
  6. The EU must not waste the unique opportunity that information and communication technologies provide for radical transformation and improved care delivery, to support health research and ensure the sustainability of health systems,
  7. Within the framework of the European Semester, social issues must continue to be included, strengthening the link with the European Pillar of Social Rights and ensuring that Member States demonstrate the performance and improvements achieved in terms of quality, safety and equitable access to care.
The event held in Oporto, Portugal, was attended by the Portuguese Deputy Minister for Economy, the President of CIP, the Secretary General of EFPIA, the President of APHP, the Rector of the University of Porto, the President of São João Hospital Centre and a representative of Patient Associations.
All came to the unanimous conclusion that it is necessary to take into account the whole health system and not only the public health service, that the way forward is through partnerships and collaboration between all the players of the system and that the involvement of citizens and of patients' associations is essential for the reform of the health system.
This was an important day for the affirmation of the private health sector, in which private hospitals had a strong institutional presence.
The private health cluster reaffirms itself as a reference partner for sustainable health and it is our ambition that the Oporto Declaration may represent a reference on the importance of Health in the strengthening of Europe, in the valorisation of the concerns of Europeans and in European competitiveness.

UEHP enters BIAC as Associate Expert
As of May 2021, UEHP enters the BIAC (Business at OECD) as Associate Expert, a wonderful opportunity for UEHP to discuss policy issues, draft consensus business views, and engage with OECD committees on a number of subjects relevant for our sector and our association.
UEHP is thrilled to start working with BIAC and discussing on leading matters that impact businesses and bring the voice of private hospitals in Europe at OECD level.
Full list of BIAC members including UEHP available here.
Expert Panel on public procurement in healthcare systems adopts opinion
The European Commission's Expert Panel on 'effective ways of investing in health' has adopted its opinion on public procurement in healthcare systems.
As part of this opinion, the Expert Panel examines the tendering of pharmaceuticals, health technology and e-Health. In each case, they identify a series of challenges relating to the complexity of the procurement process, imbalances in power on each side of transactions, and the role of procurement in promoting broader public policy objectives.
The recommendations aim to strengthen the procurement process, stressing the importance of public policy goals and, specifically, the interests of patients. Further recommendations encourage organizations to develop the necessary skills and expertise for healthcare specific public procurement, and highlight the need for stronger action on corruption and for improving public procurement during emergencies. Stakeholders discussed the opinion during a public hearing on 3 February 2021.
The Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health is an interdisciplinary and independent group established by the European Commission to provide non-binding independent advice on matters related to effective, accessible and resilient health systems.
The opinion is available at: Key documents | Public Health (europa.eu)
More information on the Expert Panel: Overview | Public Health (europa.eu)
EU consultation
Digital health data and services
Publication of the consultation on the European Health Data Space (EHDS) - an important building block of the European Health Union.
The EHDS aims to make full use of digital health to provide high-quality healthcare and reduce inequalities. It will promote access to health data for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, research and innovation, as well as for policy-making and legislation. The EHDS will place individuals' rights to control their own personal health data at its core. The consultation will remain open for responses until 26 July 2021. Please find more information here: Digital health data and services – the European health data space (europa.eu).
EU consultation
EU Directive on patients' rights in cross-border
Publication of the consultation on the EU Directive on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare - to assist the evaluation of the EU directive a decade on since its adoption.
Stakeholders are invited to share views on how the Directive has improved patients' rights to healthcare abroad and its role to strengthen European cooperation in the area of rare and complex diseases. This online consultation remains open for responses until 27 July 2021. Please find more information here: Cross-border healthcare – evaluation of patients’ rights (europa.eu).
EU – EFPIA Oncology Platform
Report on the impact of COVID-19 on patient access to oncology care in Europe
The report "Impact of COVID-19 on patient access to oncology care in Europe" is finally out! 
UEHP was invited to join the EFPIA Oncology Platform two years ago in order to foster collaboration on cancer care. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened and the members of the platform decided to focus on the impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients and treatments. The report, to which UEHP has actively contributed, sets out 6 ways to regain lost momentum and build on positive lessons learned during the crisis.
Full report available here: every-day-counts.pdf (efpia.eu)
The COVID-19 pandemic has come at a time where great progress had been made in cancer care: although more people are being diagnosed with cancer, improvements in services and treatments have led to better outcomes. The number of cancer deaths has increased at a much slower pace (20%) than that of cancer cases (50%). Every day counts for people living with cancer. Therefore, the pandemic will have a profound effect on patient outcomes if no action is taken to make up lost ground in screening, treatment and surgery, according to a new report, The Impact of COVID-19 on Patient Access to Cancer Care in Europe. For example, in breast cancer, an eight-week delay in surgery increases the risk of death by 17%, while a 12-week delay increases the risk by 26%.
Learning lessons from adversity
The report finds that COVID-19 has had an impact on every patient access milestone: clinical trials have been delayed or postponed, HTA and reimbursement decisions have been put on hold, and cancer diagnosis dropped by 50% in some countries in March 2020 compared to the previous year. Treatment and follow-up were severely impeded due to the risk of hospital visits, reduced availability of healthcare professionals, and fewer resources for blood transfusion and surgical care. Patients themselves were less prone to visit hospitals for their cancer care.
For cancer patients, this has meant additional hurdles to accessing care, on top of factors that were already delaying patient access in oncology prior to the pandemic. 
The risk of further disruptions to health service delivery remains, due to SARS-CoV-2 mutations or future pandemics, along with the growing shortage of health personal needed to care for Europe’s ageing population. The challenge is to look beyond the current crisis and learn from the COVID-19 pandemic to make healthcare systems fit for the future.
Despite the challenges, there have been some positive features of Europe’s response to the pandemic, including the adoption of digital health and greater agility in the development and approval of innovative solutions. Stakeholders have identified six recommendations for the future.
6 ways to improve access to cancer care:
  • Clear the cancer backlog now, using innovative practices which emerged during the pandemic;
  • Maintain the proven agility of R&D and Marketing Authorization processes;
  • Continue the intensified European collaboration in clinical assessment to use HTA resources more efficiently after the pandemic;
  • Continue the adoption of digital health to increase remote care and use healthcare resources more efficiently after the pandemic;
  • Maintain and build adaptive surge capacity to be ready for future disruptions to cancer care;
  • Safeguard cancer budgets as a critical enabler for improving continuity, efficiency, and sustainability of cancer care.
With the publication of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and a fresh focus on the role that EU institutions can play in protecting and advancing the health of citizens, it is vital that the oncology community build on the lessons learned from this crisis by investing in access to innovation. Together we can build back better.
Active Citizenship Network
Manifesto “Addressing non-covid patients: COVID-19 lessons learned for more resilient Health Care Systems”
Last 6th May, Active Citizenship Network launched the Manifesto "Addressing non-covid patients: COVID-19 lessons learned for more resilient Health Care Systems", in the context of the 15th European Patients' Rights Day. 
The Manifesto proposes 10 Concrete recommendations towards a European Health Union and it has been signed by 33 Associations, including the European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP). 
  • COVID-19 has threatened all health systems and their sustainability as well as the social stability of a country during an emergency, but it has especially affected non-COVID-19 patients worldwide, challenging their right to health and continuity of care.
  • Across the world, patients with cancer or with chronic diseases were left behind, and this will have public health consequences, counting not only the deaths caused by COVID-19, but also the number of people who died prematurely because they did not have a chance to access the care that they needed. 
  • For European citizens of 9 EU countries, health risks are a main concern. During the COVID-19 health emergency, health services were totally and "heroically" focused on stemming the epidemic, but which at the same time revealed the limits that existed before the emergency. “Ordinary” patients have struggled with practical issues of postponing or forgoing a wide variety of services, ranging from emergency treatment of acute conditions to routine check-ups, recommended cancer screenings, creating a sense of abandonment and uncertainty. 
  • According to data collected by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Gavi, etc., provision of routine immunization services was substantially hindered in at least 68 countries with a great variation in how the pandemic disrupted access to immunization services even within the same regional territory; very different protocols are in place regarding infection prevention policies, both in facilitating access to vaccines and in conducting screenings.
It is not acceptable to respond to the immediate needs of citizens and patients facing the COVID-19 pandemic simply by closing services. Instead, alternative organizational solutions are needed to guarantee continuity and quality of care.
EU - European Alliance for Value in Health (EAVH)
Virtual event on health system resilience through a value-based approach
The importance of resilient health systems has been put to the fore by the COVID-19 crisis, and European institutions have taken several measures to improve the crisis preparedness of health systems at EU and Member State levels. But how is health system resilience currently defined in the health policy discussion, and are we interpreting this broadly enough?
The European Alliance for Value in Health argues that we should not only focus on measuring resources and capacity building needed for pandemic preparedness, but also look at health system resilience through a broader scope. Making health systems more value-based and person-centred would not only make them better equipped to deal with health challenges in normal times, but also make them more resilient during a future health crisis. This includes optimizing the prevention and management of chronic diseases which have been a key risk factor in terms of COVID-19 outcomes.
The European Alliance for Value in Health is delighted to be hosting a webinar on 17 June 2021, 16:00 – 17:30 CEST to launch their position paper and discuss lessons from the crisis to realign health systems towards a more resilient and value-based foundation. Invited reactions will be heard from key European stakeholders.
Register here.
Speakers announced soon!
About the European Alliance for Value in Health
The European Alliance for Value in Health is a group of associations that represents a broad range of stakeholders including patients, scientific and professional societies, healthcare managers and professionals, hospitals, payers and industry. We are working together towards our shared vision for a Europe, where health systems are value-based, sustainable, and people-centred. By connecting different stakeholders, our mission is to facilitate health system transformation, share knowledge and best practices, and engage with policy makers and stakeholders at European, national, and regional levels.
Invitation to shape a new agenda for Europe!
Collaborations, Sustainability and Precision: A New Agenda for Europe! Join changemakers - as together we forge paths to improve care for all!
To be held digitally from 7-9 June 2021, the HIMSS21 & Health 2.0 European Health Conference will feature authoritative presentations and engaging debates from forward thinking experts from hospitals, governments, and other influential healthcare stakeholders.
Some session highlights:
Together with HIMSS, we'd like to say "Thank you" to all frontline workers and stakeholders who helped Europe through a time of unprecedented health crises. We invite you to register today - free of charge for the conference. A complimentary HIMSS membership is included together with your registration.
CLAIM YOUR FREE REGISTRATION & HIMSS MEMBERSHIP*: Apply the code HEPT1 at check-out and enjoy Europe's most influential digital health conference.
HIMSS Europe 21 Digital. Join us!
  • Hear insights from over 120 international speakers
  • 60+ live and on-demand sessions convening health and care leading experts
  • Earn continuing education credits
  • Engage on topic-based content with technology experts
  • Learn about solutions from over 130 market suppliers
  • Share experiences with your peers from over 90 countries
  • Take a deep dive into initiatives from Portugal, Germany, Italy, France, The Nordics and more
We look forward to you joining us as we discuss the lessons learnt over the last 12 months and the need to build a resilient and long-lasting recovery across the globe.
* This code is reserved for government/non-profit attendees and health professionals including practicing physicians, specialists, nurses and hospital staff. Employees of Healthcare Organisations (Providers, Governments, Non-Profits and Universities) and Students are eligible. Non-Sponsor Market Suppliers do not qualify for this complimentary offer.
International Hospital Federation Awards 2021
The International Hospital Federation Awards 2021 are now open for entries. The awards will once again recognize excellence and outstanding achievements of hospitals and health service providers around the globe.
One category open for nominations is the Sultanate of Oman Excellence Award for Health Services During Crisis. This award is open to all government, public and private health service delivery organizations who operate in a low-income country (according to the World Bank) and/or operate in a region, territory or country during times of significant crisis (war or natural disaster). The award will recognize excellence or outstanding achievements in delivering health services despite the challenges of their environment.
We are grateful for your organization’s support to IHF activities and we’d like to get your help in promoting the Awards to your networks. Marketing materials are found here, please let me know if you need specific files.
We hope you can disseminate information about the awards. We believe that with your support more hospitals or health service providers will be encouraged to submit their entries. My colleague Eleonor who is leading the Awards program is copied here for any questions.
UEHP presents its Board Members
Interview with Paolo Silvano, Deputy Managing Director Resources & Transformation at ELSAN
How would you summarize the place of the private healthcare sector in your country?
The private healthcare sector in France is one of the most important in the world. It is even a specific feature of the French healthcare system to rely heavily on the private sector for the majority of its surgical interventions, a significant portion of its cancer treatments (especially chemotherapy and radiotherapy), for imaging and biology diagnostics, and so on.
So that one can assert that the private sector in France is one of the key pillars of the nationwide system providing healthcare to all the French people. This became even more evident during the COVID crisis: while the private sector cured about 20% of the total COVID patients hospitalized (including in ICUs), it also provided equipment and experienced staffing to public hospitals caring for COVID patients, and it is fair to say that without the private sector, France would not have been able to weather the storm.
It is also a heavily regulated sector, and while regulations and quality standards apply to all healthcare providers, public and private, it is fair to say that the private sector is highly efficient and meets all quality standards mandated by the authorities on an equal level with its public counterparts, while being cheaper for payers (state and health insurances). So the value created is higher in the private sector.
Finally, the private healthcare sector in France is the most agile and innovative one, ready to adapt to new and efficient ways of providing care (outpatient care, enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS), digitalization of medical records and of administrative data processing, …)
Why did you apply to become a UEHP Board member? What would you like to achieve?
I first joined the French delegation at UEHP because I was (and am) convinced of the profound usefulness of the constant comparison of “how different people do the same thing”, of getting to know different approaches to the complexity of the task of providing comprehensive medical care to everyone in an efficient and attentive way. Every meeting, every document is a source of learning, of inspiration and a chance to ask myself: could we do things differently, better? I was then fortunate enough to have the possibility to join the Board, and my perspective, a bit selfish at the beginning, evolved towards trying to give a small contribution to a group of people, headed and inspired by Dr Paul Garassus, for whom I have a boundless esteem and admiration, who operate to “put more health into Europe and more Europe into health”, which is, I believe, a noble task for the benefit of all European citizens who, sooner or later, become all patients.
How can UEHP best help you to defend the private healthcare sector in your country?
UEHP has accomplished a number of significant initiatives, representing the healthcare private sector at the level of EU institutions and national governments. I am convinced that France, like many other EU countries, needs to “open up” to the rest of Europe with more transnational cooperation projects, freer circulation of patients, adoption of regulations that favor access to quality healthcare and information to all EU citizens. Again, COVID crisis showed that when things get difficult, international cooperation can be a tremendous asset, and can literally save lives. UEHP can be a significant actor in the movement towards this opening up and a help on the path to learn to better cooperate.
UEHP presents its Board Members
Interview with Dr Piotr Geber, architect, university lecturer and manager in hospital renovation and architectural projects, including the renovation of historic hospitals
How would you summarize the place of the private healthcare sector in your country?
The private healthcare sector in Poland began to develop in 1999 through the creation of new hospitals and the acquisition of public hospitals. Private hospitals were operating within the framework of the public healthcare system and were receiving public funds.
During this period, most GP practices and specialized outpatient clinics fell into the hands of the private sector and general hospitals developed dynamically and were able to compete efficiently with public entities. The introduction by the government of the Hospital Network in 2017 put a stop to this growth. The share of public financing in the private hospital sector has stopped growing, but the private sector is trying to adapt.
Nevertheless, private institutions play an important role in the hospital landscape in Poland and in some areas are complementary to public hospitals. Fruitful cooperation between public and private sectors have already often been implemented in practice. Globally, the private sector has been since its creation a catalyst of change in Poland. Maybe its most important contribution has been the implementation of quality standards, which have then also been adopted by the public sector. Moreover, the competition between private and public sectors proved to be useful in terms of improvement of infrastructures, innovation and quality of patient services. Today, we can say that the private sector has driven changes so that the Polish hospital sector is more efficient and safer.
A good example is the increase of outpatient surgery, which has been a visible trend in Western Europe, and that the private healthcare sector also established in Poland. Likewise, private healthcare providers are the first to implement new methods of treatment, new medical devices and new processes, for the benefit, comfort and safety of patients.
Why did you apply to become a UEHP Board member? What would you like to achieve?
I have been an active UEHP member since 2004. With UEHP we know what is going on in the private healthcare sector in Europe, we can share, compare, learn from one another especially on important questions like quality, management, risk, development… UEHP is the voice of the private healthcare sector at European level. We often ask for opinions and support. For those reasons, but especially, because UEHP is an open space, where I can meet peers and pick up news ideas. We are closer to Europe with UEHP.
How can UEHP best help you to defend the private healthcare sector in your country?
UEHP can help us understand the legislation at European level and support our rights at national level. Most UEHP member countries face the same difficulties in terms of recognition, fair treatments, equal rights with public hospitals, … UEHP wrote support letters, spoke or sent experts to our conferences, which helped us a lot. In return we try to be active members, invite UEHP to Poland, participate in UEHP events, promote, share data…
Private Health Care Saves Lives Campaign (SPAIN)
The Spanish foundation FUNDALIB is conducting since 2020 an ongoing campaign about the importance of private health care services in Spain with the support of the civil society, and the public administration.
In particular FUNDALIB conducted two studies on regulatory innovation and tax reforms for the private health care industry in Spain. These studies are part of their campaign Private Health Care Saves Lives. This project was the only European project awarded with a special grant last year in the middle of the pandemic together with other 5 projects from the US and Asia. 
The objective of FUNDALIB was and still is to offer market solutions to the Covid 19 crisis but also to offer legislators, public authorities and industry a road map on structural reforms from a regulatory and fiscal point of view. Their proposals aim at strengthening the private health care industry in Spain, badly hurt by Government intervention, intervention that ultimately as they saw during this past year, damages patients and health care professionals in Spain.
FUNDALIB hopes this campaign will be useful in their efforts to strengthen the private health care industry.
Links to the reports: Please also check the video briefing of the campaign as well as their round table with experts.  
A Sustainable Development Approach in Healthcare
What frameworks already exist for a sustainable development approach?
The United Nations has produced "17 goals to save the world". These Sustainable Development Goals "provide a roadmap to a better and more sustainable future for all". The Paris Agreement, adopted by 196 states at COP 21 in Paris in 2015 has been in force since 2016. This legally binding international treaty aims to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels. In Europe, the European Climate and Energy 2030 package voted in 2014 called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990. In October 2020, the European Parliament increased this reduction to 60%. The framework therefore exists and we observe that if the last decade has raised awareness, the one we are in will be one of action.
Olivier Toma, founder of the Primum Non Nocere agency, and advocate for the French Committee for Sustainable Development in Health (C2DS)
What do you observe on the ground?
I see among healthcare professionals a willingness to reinvent themselves. The Covid-19 epidemic has revealed many points of failure in health systems, but it has also highlighted the strength of those working on the ground. We surveyed 2,250 healthcare professionals from 17 to 27 April 2020: almost 90% of respondents wanted health and medico-social establishments to become exemplary in terms of their management of waste, transport, energy consumption, quality of life at work, etc., and the same number were in favor of making public funding conditional on compliance with eco-responsible indicators. The growing number of health establishments willing to join C2DS is also historic. Professionals want to give meaning back to their work.
In concrete terms, where do we start?
Each institution has its own formula and pace, depending on its history, human resources, etc. For example, it will be a matter of preventing and reducing waste and transforming the residual materials of some into raw materials for others, observing a sustainable use of water resources and reducing liquid effluents (pollution of medicinal molecules for example), improve energy efficiency and promote renewable energies, optimize incoming and outgoing transport of people and products, implement a responsible purchasing policy jointly developed with suppliers, or promote the circular economy (jobs that cannot be relocated, waste management, local purchasing, etc.). Finally, we design, renovate and construct a building that saves water and energy resources, uses healthy materials (without endocrine disruptors or nanoparticles) to improve indoor air quality, and limits noise and light pollution and electromagnetic fields.
For example, we work with anesthetists who are gradually eliminating nitrous oxide, an anesthetic gas with a very high impact on the ozone layer, and favoring sevoflurane over desflurane for the same quality of care. There are only solutions and some of them are very simple.
What is the One Health concept?
We are rediscovering, thanks to the pandemic, that we live in the same world as animals. 60% of infectious diseases are shared between humans and animals and 75% of emerging diseases have an animal origin. They develop as a result of human intrusion into preserved environments. We have proof that animals can be the source of a deadly pandemic. It would have taken a zoonosis of the magnitude of the one we are currently experiencing. Moreover, the World Organization for the Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are going to create a high-level council of experts on "One Health": veterinarians, doctors and ecologists will have to work together. I hope that we will capitalize on "One Health" to avoid teams working in silos. This is the only way to deal with the problems of a common world. A sustainable development approach for health establishments is now vital, otherwise how can we guarantee good health to people on a sick planet?
4 June
UEHP virtual Council Meeting

17 June, 16:00-17:30
EAVH Webinar
Lessons from the crisis: How a value-based approach can make health systems more resilient