Thematic discussion on Healthcare in the context of the SPC Semester-related Multilateral Implementation Reviews
Accordingly, the 2020 cycle of the European Semester put a strong emphasis on reforms in the area of healthcare, with all Member States receiving a country-specific recommendation (CSR) to address the resilience of their systems. In 2021, given the comprehensive and forward-looking policy nature of the recovery and resilience plans1 , no (non-fiscal) CSRs were proposed. In this context, reform implementation in the areas of healthcare continues to be monitored by the Social Protection Committee by means of a thematic discussion, as well as by country-specific reviews of the past CSRs, where relevant. The SPC held its thematic discussion on Healthcare on 16 March. The exchange was structured around the issues of workforce availability and the uptake of telemedicine, reflecting two of the major common challenges for all Member States. Presentations from the European Commission, Lithuania and Portugal were used to frame the discussions, which was moderated by Josep Figueras, Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies - in his capacity as a thematic expert in the area of Healthcare.