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EU Health Ministers

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

The informal meeting of EU Health Ministers took place on 19 and 20 April in Aachen. I represented the UK. Items on the agenda were health services consultation and pandemic influenza preparedness. The vaccine for the human papiloma virus (HPV) was raised under any other business.

On the health services consultation, the Commission presented a summary of the responses to the consultation on a community framework for health services. Member states reiterated the key points of their own responses. There was broad support amongst member states for some community level action combining both legislative elements and practical measures.

On pandemic influenza preparedness, the Commission reported on the findings of the recent European Centre of Disease Control on pandemic preparedness in the EU. The presidency noted that while important progress had been made, there was still more to be done.

On the HPV vaccine, Luxembourg raised the issue due to concerns that misleading information about the vaccine could jeopardise preventative work. Ministers from Portugal and Spain echoed these concerns. The Commission noted that an expert working group would be looking at the new vaccine.