Όψεις της πολιτικής υγείας της Ε.Ε.: πλαίσιο, προβλήματα, προοπτικές
The European Union citizens live on average longer and in better health than what previous generations. However, the EU faces a serious problem: there are significant differences in health between the Member States and within them. These differences extend to the financing of health services. It seems like differences will continue to exist, since the legal basis of EU policy in the health sector was consolidated just in 1992 with the Treaty of Maastricht Article 129, under which the Community contribute towards ensuring a high level of human health protection by encouraging co-operation between the Member States and, if necessary, lending support to their action. After the force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999, Article 129 was replaced by Article 152, according to which the Community can now adopt measures aimed ensuring (rather than merely contributing to) a high level of human health protection like improving public health, disease prevention and elimination of hazards to human health. In spite of all these changes, it should be noted that the Community competences remain complementary in nature (principle of subsidiarity) and focused on health prevention and not on healthcare. Article 152 does not have direct effect, meaning that it does not confer enforceable rights on individuals. The objectives of EU’s health policy attempted through the Community action programs and strategies for public health. These policies are directed towards the prevention of diseases, by promoting research into their causes and their transmission, as well as health information and education. A specific reference to Community legislation from the European institutions, on issues such as the free movement of patients and health professionals, eHealth, environment and health, health and safety at work and health and life sciences.