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Press Release - Innovative approaches necessary to boost youth employment in the health sector
10.07.2012, 16:13 (CET)
The need to adopt innovative approaches and strategies for enhancing youth employment in the health sector was highlighted during the first day of the Informal Meeting of EU Health Ministers, which took place at the ‘Filoxenia’ Conference Centre in Lefkosia (Nicosia). During the morning session of the meeting, the focus was on the issues of organ donation and transplantation, with ministers discussing ways of strengthening cooperation and exchanging best practices.

Following a presentation of the European Commission’s Action Plan on the EU Health Workforce, as part of the “Employment Package”, the ministers discussed the need to adopt innovative approaches and strategies to improve youth employment in the health sector, equipping young people with the right skills through education, training and job opportunities. Additional emphasis was given on the need to ensure that the programmes financed by the European funds will focus on increasing training and work opportunities for young people and on upgrading skills of older workers in the healthcare sector.

Organ donation and transplantation

Earlier today, during the morning session, the ministers discussed the issue of organ donation and transplantation, which constitutes one of the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency in the area of health. Having identified the existing problems in the area of transplantations from living donors, they determined the needs of Member States with regards to transplantation programs, and debated ways of strengthening cooperation and exchanging best practices in raising awareness and empowering existing relevant structures.  At the same time, they recognized the need for further reinforcement of the funding opportunities for organ transplantation programmes, through the Union’s financial mechanisms, such as the new Multiannual Health Programme  (2014-2020) and the Structural Funds. They also reached conclusions in ways by which cooperation with other countries and the Commission can become helpful.

"The difference between life and death"

The Commissioner of Health and Consumers Mr J. Dalli stated that "organ donation and transplantation can make the difference between life and death for thousands of European citizens". He added that "the European Commission will continue to support the efforts of Member States for the further development of relevant programmes".

Closing the first day of discussions, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr. Stavros Malas, stressed that today’s discussions identified the necessity of organ donation and transplantation programmes, as this issue has proven to be of tremendous importance for all member states. He also underlined that efforts should be continued towards the development of effective collaboration between member states in the areas of cross border exchange of organs as well as of sharing best practices and experience.

Presidency Spokesperson in Cyprus
Costas Yennaris



Email: cyennaris@cy2012eu.gov.cy
Mobile: +357 99400234
Chief Health Officer
Olga Kalakouta

Ministry of Health
European Affairs Unit Coordinator
Email: okalakouta@moh.gov.cy
Telephone: +35722605323
Communications Officer
Demetris Constantinou

Ministry of Health

Email: dconstantinou@pio.moi.gov.cy
Telephone: +35722605386

Watch the press conference here

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