Press Release

Successful joint meeting of EU Chief Medical Officers and Chief Nursing Officers

Agenda focused on key public health issues focusing on health and wellbeing initiatives as drivers for healthy productive societies across Europe

The Chief Medical and Chief Nursing Officers of Europe concluded a successful joint meeting as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of European Union. Delegates dealt with a range of important health issues including health and wellbeing, smoking and multi-drug resistant bacteria.

In relation to health and wellbeing, the Chief Medical and Chief Nursing Officers discussed the need to shift the emphasis in health systems from an ‘illness model’, dependent on care in hospitals, to a model where primary care services are strengthened and health and wellbeing are promoted.

On smoking, the Chief Medical and Chief Nursing Officers expressed concern at the significant health burden placed on the EU population by smoking and smoking related diseases. With approximately 700,000 EU citizens dying prematurely each year of smoking related diseases, it is important that all EU Member States continue to move forward on initiatives to reduce the prevalence of smoking and accelerate progress to achieving a smoke-free environment and the significant health threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The rapid spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria means that we could be close to reaching a point where everyday infections will become untreatable. Many existing antibiotics are becoming less effective and inappropriate use of these valuable medicines has made the problem worse. Given the importance of the issue and the scale of the threat that antimicrobial resistance poses for national and global health security the Chief Medical and Chief Nursing Officers consider that there is a pressing need for concerted effort, collective action and substantial co-operation at a national and EU level to tackle the matter.

Note for Editors

Yesterday the EU Chief Medical and Chief Nursing Officers published letters issued to the EU Commission on the Tobacco Products Directive and addressing antimicrobial resistance as significant public health concerns for Europe. These letters are available HERE.