Health touches horizontally the lives of all of us, says EU Commissioner on Health

Stella Kyriakides, the new EU Commissioner on Health and Food Safety vowed on Thursday to touch the lives of both Cypriots and all EU citizens, stressing that the issues of Health and Food Safety concern the every-day lives of all of us.

In her first trip to Cyprus in her new capacity as an EU Commissioner, Kyriakides attended a citizens’ dialogue in Nicosia on issues concerning its portfolio.

This portfolio touches upon the every-day lives both of all EU citizens, as it concerns issues of health and food safety, which, I believe, concern us all on almost a daily basis, she said, adding that for me it is a huge bet to touch through our portfolio, all EU citizens, Kyriakides added.

She assured that during her term she will be discussing with citizens as often as possible in a bid to know their concerns.

In five years from now, I would like to look back in and say we at least delivered on our targets with which we began, Kyriakides said, noting that sometimes setting the bar high means you have targets to deliver.

The targets on issues of health and food safety, should be auspicious but realistic, she went on to say.

Referring to the targets of the new Commission that concern her portfolio, Kyriakides stressed that the overarching target is the creation of a European Strategy to combat cancer, the Europe Beating Cancer Plan, as announced by the Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen.

This is a major target as it horizontally touches upon all issues from prevention, timely diagnosis and cure, patients’ rights, as well as issues of research and development, she said adding that a public consultation will be initiated on February 4 in an event in the European Parliament, while the strategy is expected to be launched in the last quarter of next year.

Kyriakides said this strategy covers issues of her portfolio such as access to medicine, adding without access to medicine we cannot talk about combating cancer.

She also referred to the issue of reluctancy to vaccination, a big issue that concerns Europe, as well as antibiotic resistance, stressing that due antibiotic abuse not only in humans but also animals, infections become harder to treat.

Turning to food safety, Kyriakides said the new EU strategy on Green Growth affects a significant part of her portfolio, the strategy From the farm to the fork to be launched the coming April, with the aim to address every step of the food chain, from production and processing through marketing, as well as consumption and international trade.

Kyriakides called everyone to understand that health covers a multitude of issues horizontally. You cannot speak of human health if you don’t touch animal and plants health. We cannot talk about fighting cancer if we don’t know what food we have on our tables, we cannot talk about combating a disease if we don’t assure access to medicine she concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency