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Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

Volume 501: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2009

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will meet on 30 November- 1 December. The Health and Consumer Affairs part of the Council will be taken on 1 December.

Items on the main agenda are:

patients’ rights in cross border healthcare;

incentives for effective antibiotics, e-health;

the three aspects of the pharmaceutical package (proposals to reduce the threat from counterfeit medicines, strengthening of community pharmacovigilance and information on prescription medicines to patients);

alcohol and health;

smoke-free environments;

seasonal influenza vaccination and information from the presidency and the Commission on pandemic H1N1 following the Council meeting on 12 October, together with a discussion on lessons learnt on H1N1 preparedness and future challenges faced.

The presidency propose to ask Ministers to reach political agreement on the directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare. The presidency also proposes to adopt Council conclusions on innovative incentives for effective antibiotics, safe and efficient healthcare through e-health and alcohol and health. They also propose to adopt a Council recommendation on smoke-free environments. The UK can support the adoption of these proposals.

Although the main agenda currently proposes the adoption of a recommendation on seasonal influenza vaccination, this is still at an early stage in negotiation and we anticipate that adoption at this forthcoming Council will not be possible.

Under any other business, information will be provided from the presidency on a directive on standards of quality and safety of human organs intended for transplantation. Information will also be provided on Commission Communications on cancer, combating HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries and reducing health inequalities in the EU.