On the 8th and 9th March 2023, the European Parliament's special committee on the COVID-19 pandemic (COVI) organised two workshops to discuss the state of play of EU’s crisis preparedness and response, and developments related to “long COVID”. We had the honour to be invited to present PHIRI and our lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our coordinator and principal investigator Pétronille Bogart (Sciensano, Belgium) gave a presentation titled: "PHIRI: harnessing health information to improve pandemic preparedness." She presented PHIRI, and especially the COVID-19 Health information systems assessments that we are performing, investigating the current state of play of the EU’s crisis preparedness and response system, including at national and international level. She outlined how, through these "country visits", best practices and gaps in COVID-19 health information systems. She also formulated recommendations on how to strengthen the resilience and preparedness of health information systems. Petronille Bogaert also presented other aspects of PHIRI contributing to EU crisis preparedness and response: our Rapid Exchange Forum and the European Health Information Portal.
"We need to systematically strengthen health information systems in Europe by improving: networking and collaboration, definitions and standards, legal framework to re-use of health data, training and capacity building." Stressed Pétronille Bogaert to the COVI committee of the European Parliament.
The other invited experts to this session were:
- Andrea Ammon, Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
- Marion Koopmans, Head of the Viroscience Department, Erasmus MC
- Stella Ladi, Reader in Public Management, Queen Mary University of London
- Claude Blumann, Professor of Public Law, University Paris-Panthéon-Assas
Find more information about the session here. The recording is also available here.
On the 9th March, COVI members also met with experts to discuss key facts and developments related to “long COVID”, and identify regulatory and policy aspects that need to be addressed in order to minimise the impact of long COVID on European citizens and society.
During this second workshop, prof. Peter Piot, (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, EU Commission’s advisory panel on COVID-19) mentioned PHIRI, highlighting the answers gathered during a PHIRI Rapid Exchange Forum session on Long Covid registries (all the questions discussed during the Rapid Exchange Forum sessions are publicly available on the Health information portal here).
"In Europe, we are not well equipped for multi-countries studies." Prof. Peter Piot, stressing the need for collaborative research across Europe.
Find more information about the session here, and the recording here.