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Parliamentary questions
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23 March 2021
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006842/2020

The Commission supports Member States in investing in primary care by providing funding and enhancing knowledge for policymaking. Primary care is a prerequisite for better performance of health systems that are crucial for withstanding crises, including the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenges that primary care faces in different Member States are highlighted in the European Semester Country Reports(1). Primary care is one of the areas presented in the ‘State of Health in the EU’(2) Country Profiles and was one of the topics of the 2017 Companion Report(3).

The report that the Honourable Members referred to in their question, is a result of work of the Commission’s Health Systems Performance Assessment expert group(4) that developed a concept of measuring primary care performance.

For their primary care investments, Member States can use the various Union funding instruments, in particular the European Structural and Investment Funds(5). The Recovery and Resilience Facility(6) is also being considered by Member States to support reforms and investments in the healthcare system.

The Commission has financed projects such as SCIROCCO Exchange(7) and VIGOUR(8) as well as the newly launched Joint Action of implementation of digitally enabled integrated person-centred care(9). They promote best practices of care integration with primary care playing a key role. Supporting the strengthening of primary care is one of possible eligible actions in the EU4Health Programme 2021-2027(10).

Better information and surveillance systems are part of actions building a strong European Health Union(11).

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