Pandemic and national health systems: The Commission launches the challenge

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Today the European Commission published the opinion of the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health on the organisation of resilient health and social care following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Panel of experts were asked how to make social assistance and health care more efficient and resilient following the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Panel of experts opinion can also be seen as a guide to help Member States in relation with the ESM fund, the mechanism of supporting Member States with structural problems.

Experts were asked how and where to invest for health system in Europe.


The experts called by the EU Commission first identified the building blocks of ideal health and social care. Then they identified the elements and conditions for developing the capacity of health systems. Finally, they asked what are the health needs of vulnerable patients that the pandemic has made evident this year and indicate a model for testing the resilience of national health systems.

After the vulnerabilities of health systems and social assistance that came to light during this pandemic year, will Member States be able to treasure the mistakes and take the suggestions of leading experts?

The Panel’s recommendations include:

  • creating adaptive surge capacity, taking into account solidarity mechanisms within and across borders;
  • investment in primary care and in mental health;
  • patient data disaggregation to ensure equity-driven decision making;
  • strategies to monitor and reduce disinformation;
  • linking databases across systems and sectors, in line with an integrated whole-of-society approach;
  • providing specific training on dealing with socially deprived and minority groups;
  • developing a resilience test toolkit and implementation methodology for health systems.

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