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Health funding potential under ESIF

Under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) in the 2014-2020 programming period, the following direct and indirect health actions arranged according to thematic objectives (TO), are eligible for funding:

  • TO 1 – Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
    • Enhance innovation in health
    • Support research in development of new detection methods and treatments
    • Stimulate collaborative research in rare diseases
    • Support research and related IT infrastructures including support to health information systems
  • TO2 - Enhancing access to, use and quality of information and communication technologies
    • Strengthening ICT applications for e-Health
    • Set up e-Health solutions compatible with EU standards ensuring (cross-border) interoperability of IT systems
    • Support the use of uniform electronic health care information system, electronic prescription system, patient electronic medical records, telemedicine and telecare
    • Create legal basis for e-Health (including quality standards / certification for applications and data management, data protection)
    • Improve IT tools for coordination of response to health threats
    • Support the development of ICT based solutions and services for needs of an ageing population and empower users to use them to remain active and independent for longer
  • TO 3 - Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs
    • Promote awareness among SMEs on 'white sector' business opportunities and know-how
    • Support SMEs' businesses addressing the needs of old people, or 'age-friendly' businesses (e.g. providing personalized care, assisting in functional physical or cognitive decline, improving old people's health literacy), including senior start-ups and entrepreneurship
    • Encourage private and public enterprises to play a larger role in public-private partnerships in 'age-friendly' areas.
  • TO 4 - Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors
    • Stimulate the energy efficiency of health care facilities
    • Assist low-income communities and the elderly with energy efficiency improvements
    • Support actions to help reduce the use of domestic solid fuels (coal and wood) which create indoor air pollution and negatively affect health
  • TO 5 - Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management
    • Support investment in risk prevention and management, including protection, preparedness, response and recovery that have a positive impact on human health
    • Support creation of early warning systems and health care investments for disasters and climate-related events and adaptation
    • Support water efficiency in health care buildings to reduce water scarcity
    • Stimulate investments to reduce flooding of health care facilities
  • TO 6 - Preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency
    • Invest in waste sector management to support protection from dangerous medical waste
    • Increase actions that reduce the potential health risks of contaminated sites
  • TO 7 - Promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key network infrastructures
    • Improve connectivity (e.g. through infrastructure) and mobility to enhance access to health services
    • Enhance safety levels of transport networks to gain health benefits
    • Support greener infrastructure to reduce obesity and create healthier lifestyles, particularly for the youth
  • TO 8 - Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility
    • Support adequate and qualified health workforce in all areas through adaptation and training
    • Support labour mobility and measures to enhance the attractiveness of the health professions to improve access to health care in rural and remote areas
    • Stimulate active and healthy ageing measures
    • Promote healthy life style and disease prevention
    • Support healthy and safe working conditions and prevent work-related injuries and diseases
  • TO 9 - Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty
    • Enhance access to affordable, sustainable and high-quality services, including health care and social services of general interest
    • Promote actions reducing inequalities in terms of health status
    • Support active inclusion improving employability (including integrated pathways combining various forms of employability measures and modernization of social protection systems)
    • Support actions integrating marginalized communities in terms of health access and preventive health care
    • Support specific actions targeting people at risk of discrimination and people with disabilities to increase their labour market participation
    • Support transition from institutional to community-based services (deinstitutionalization of long-term care, after care and mental care, home care strengthening)
    • Strengthen ambulatory services and primary care
    • Support the specialization and concentration of hospital care
    • Transition of hospital-based care to community-based care
    • Promote active involvement of patients and their empowerment
  • TO 10 - Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning
    • Enhance access to lifelong learning, upgrading the skills and competences of the workforce (training in e-Health, new treatment and diagnostic methods)
    • Support tertiary education delivering workforce sufficient in numbers as well as in qualification, reflecting the shortages of certain specializations (i.e. General Practitioners)
    • Promote flexible pathways between health care education and training and between education and work
  • TO 11 - Enhancing institutional capacity and ensuring an efficient public administration
    • Support actions to increase efficiency of health administration in particular to design and deliver health system reforms and increase its efficiency, quality and sustainability
    • Enhance actions leading to cross-border cooperation of Member States in the area of health

The list above is based on The Commission “Guide for Health Investments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014-2020” and conclusions of the Impact of Structural Funds on Health Gains project. For more details, see section , 'Existing knowledge & other useful links'


Useful links

European Commission

Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency

Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety

Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy

Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion