European Reference Networks launched to tackle complex medical conditions

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/3/1 8:22:17

The European Commission on Tuesday launched the European Reference Networks (ERNs) which will start work from March 1.

According to the Commission, ERNs are virtual networks which bring together healthcare providers across Europe to tackle complex or rare medical conditions that require highly specialized treatment and a concentration of knowledge and resources.

Besides, it will be easier for patients to access to information on healthcare and increase their treatment options.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said that ERNs can light the way for rare disease patients, leading them to potentially life-saving and life-changing breakthroughs.

There will be 24 thematic ERNs, gathering over 900 highly specialised healthcare units from 26 countries. They will work together on a wide range of issues, such as bone disorders, paediatric cancer and immunodeficiency.

Rare diseases are those that affect no more than 5 in 10,000 people. According to official data, between 6,000 and 8,000 rare diseases affect the daily lives of around 30 million people in the European Union (EU), many of whom are children.

The commission said that ERNs will be supported by European cross-border telemedicine tools, and can benefit from a range of EU funding mechanisms such as the Health Program, the Connecting Europe Facility and Horizon 2020.

Posted in: EUROPE

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