Norway will take the lead in European public health cooperation

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The EU has invested 75 million euros into public health, and has asked Norway to lead this project.

The EU will implement a collaboration project between the EU member countries, Norway and Iceland, targeting measures that tackle illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, as well as noncommunicable diseases.

At the request of the EU, Norway has recently submitted a proposal as to how this work can be carried out. If the EU approves the proposal, Norway will then carry out this historic public health initiative.  

Recognition of Norway

“The request that Norway take on such a role is a recognition of the work we have carried out in relation to public health. This commitment is good news for public health, as well as for us here in Norway,” the Minister of Health and Care Services, Ingvild Kjerkol, noted.

The leadership role Norway has been entrusted with will open the door for, and will provide new knowledge of, good public health initiatives that have been implemented in other European countries.

“Norway will put on its international leader’s jersey. This unique opportunity will allow us to strengthen our joint efforts to fight illnesses that annually incur major costs for both society and individuals,” Kjerkol said.

Prioritising public health

The government will soon put forward its public health report. Kjerkol reported that the European commitment aligns well with the government’s own prioritisation of public health work in Norway.

“We know that diet, lack of physical activity, alcohol and tobacco increase the risk of contracting the diseases that the EU is now coming together to work against. This is something we are also concentrating on in the upcoming public health paper,” Kjerkol said.

“Our main goal is to reduce societal differences within the population. We will take action such that people can live longer, better and healthier lives”, the Minister added.

75 million euros

Through this European commitment to public health, the EU plans to contribute 75 million euros over a period of three years. Several countries will contribute to fund this, with Norway’s contribution estimated to come to NOK 2.5 million annually.

“The role will give back much more than what we are investing. It will provide us with a real impact on the development of public health policies in the EU, and will also have a huge effect on Norway’s other health work with the EU,” Kjerkol said.

A project has been established with representatives from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health, to lead the way on this work in Norway. The project will be followed up on by a steering group consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Health and Care Services, the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the FHI.