Europe has now seen the first case of Ebola on its territory.
In view of this and the course of the disease so far, will the Commission say:
|—||How ready are EU Member States to accept patients with this serious infectious disease?|
|—||What specific steps will it take to prevent both the entry and spread of the disease in Europe?|
|—||Will it give further financial assistance to countries which have been affected by the economic crisis and are subject to adjustment programmes so as to enable them to equip hospitals and medical staff with the appropriate means to combat the disease?|
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission (10/12/2014)
The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written questions E-6313/2014, 6598/2014 and 7622/2014(1).
On 16 October 2014 EU Health Ministers stressed the importance of implementing sound exit screening in the affected countries. The Foreign Affairs Council — in its Conclusions of 20 October 2014(2) — further calls on the Commission services to audit the effectiveness of the screening systems at point of exit in the affected countries.This recommendation has been further referenced in the European Council Conclusions of 24 October 2014.(3) In this context, an audit is being conducted of exit screening in the affected countries from 19 — 23 November 2014. The mission will be led by the Commission with the technical support of Member States’ experts and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and, under the umbrella of the European External Action Service/EU Delegations and in close collaboration with DG ECHO, the World Health Organisation and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The EU has allocated a 140 million development package to support the countries. It is undertaking considerable measures to ensure macroeconomic stability and avoid a complete collapse of healthcare. Therefore, EUR 97.5 of the will be delivered through Budget Support to Liberia and Sierra Leone to give fiscal space to the Governments and provide essential services. Across the three countries, the EU is supporting mobile laboratories to the tune of some EUR 7 million to test for the virus; contributing EUR 5 million to a mission of African Union health workers to fight the epidemic; and some EUR 28 million will be targeted for actions to support health systems and livelihoods under a linking relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) approach.