Khanbhai addresses health conference Sept03


Bashir Khanbhai, Tory MEP for the East of England, is today addressing a health conference in Budapest on the challenges facing the ten Central and Eastern European states when they join the European Union next year .


Creating a pan-EU healthcare system, which provides almost 500 million EU citizens in twenty five countries with equal access to quality healthcare, is a challenge for all stakeholders. Delegates at today's conference are discussing how such a health system could be funded based on a combination of state, private and individual contributions in order to meet growing patient expectations.


Delegates will also consider the uneven spread of state-of-the-art medicines across EU markets and ways to close the gap in the poorer health status of some of the accession countries. This is emphasised by the differences in spending on national health delivery as a percentage of GDP, which is significantly lower in the ten accession countries.


Mr. Khanbhai, a pharmacist with thirty years experience in the healthcare industry, is joined by representatives of public authorities, health experts, academics and patients associations.


Speaking from Budapest, he said:


"The enlarged EU faces the challenge of helping the accession countries to upgrade and connect their health systems with those in the existing Member States. This requires investment in manpower, infrastructure and training of medical personnel from surgeons to technicians.


In order to realise the EU's dream of creating a truly single market, we must reform the delivery of healthcare so that every EU citizen is entitled to the same treatment."




Notes to Editor:

·        GIRP is the European Association of Pharmaceutical Full-line Wholesalers representing the national associations of over 400 pharmaceutical full-line wholesalers serving 17 European countries. GIRP members employ about 70,000 people and distribute medicines with an annual value of around 70 billion Euro.

GIRP's Eastern Europe Conference: ‘The Europe of 25 – Strengthening the concept of the pharmaceutical full-line wholesaler’ is taking place at the Hotel Taverna, Budapest on 25th September 2003