European Union of Private Hospitals

UEHP writes to the EU Institutions Presidents on the role of the private sector in the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of health

Today, 20 April 2020, on the initiative of our President and the UEHP Board, we sent a letter on the role of the private sector in the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of health to the President fo the European Commission, Mrs Ursula Von der Leyen, the President of the European Parliament, Mr David Sassoli, and to the EU Commissioner for Health & Food Safety, Mrs Stella Kyriakides.

All across Europe, all hospitals, public and private, have joined forces to combat the coronavirus crisis, developing new solutions to cope with the unpredictable number of patients suffering from the virus.

Representing 20% of all hospital beds in Europe, private hospitals (providing acute care, rehabilitation and mental health services) have shown their full engagement in the public health response managed by governments in each Member State. Two key words must be stressed: coordination and cooperation, sometimes managed with a certain delay but always effective and relevant, at regional or national level.

UEHP would like to remind the European Commission and the European Parliament of the full involvement of the private health sector in facing this public health threat and engaging all means to succeed.

UEHP believes that the current crisis requires new perspectives for a European Health coordination and a major change in scientific and management cooperation. The lack of European initiative exposes national systems to inadequate responses. Too many contradictory voices disclaimed effective communication and practical solutions. Just to name a few of the problems we faced: ICU beds, ventilators, PPE, drug or devices shortage…

As already expressed by top policy makers, the “day after” will be another day. We are asking the European Commission and the European Parliament to make Health a priority and, as such, define basic rules. Learning from the crisis means to understand that the challenge of the pandemic can only be met by joining all forces in the health care sector.

Private hospitals therefore are an indispensable element, carrying a great share of the burden and thus should be acknowledged as partners with equal rights.

UEHP is ready to support new strategic objective and to propose relevant initiative, proud of recent engagement for a new common ambition with the European Commission and the European Parliament.