We, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Health and Social Affairs, received Bo Könberg's report on closer Nordic co-operation on health today and discussed his 14 proposals with great interest. The proposals concern working together on antibiotic resistance, highly specialised forms of treatment, rare diagnoses, register-based research, public health, inequalities in health, patient mobility, e-health, welfare technology, psychiatry, emergency health planning, medicine, exchange programmes for civil servants and national experts in the European Commission.
We are convinced of the value of more and closer Nordic collaboration on health and find many of the proposals extremely interesting. The Nordic countries face many similar challenges in the health sector – both in terms of improving the health of the general population and in the future development of our national health and care systems.
In the light of the Ebola epidemic, we call upon the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers to look at the options for a co-ordinated response that will limit the risk of infection and provide access to resources and treatment, as well as at the options for Nordic co-ordination of safe medical evacuation.
In this light, we believe that we can work even more closely together in more parts of the health sector, and that this will improve quality for all in the Region and improve cost efficiency.
We have taken the decision to start the follow up work on the report by concentrating on the following proposals: highly specialised treatments, rare diagnoses, psychiatry and exchanges of civil servants. We also intend to contact our ministerial colleagues responsible for foreign affairs and development aid to discuss the proposal about antibiotic resistance. We look forward to an ongoing and productive partnership concerning the other proposals in the Könberg report in the future.