“Free movement of goods is essential to fight the corona pandemic”

20 March 2020

The 'European University Hospital Alliance' or EUHA, a partnership of nine of Europe's largest university hospitals, is sounding the alarm and urging that European rules on the open market be respected even in times of crisis. This is necessary to ensure a smooth supply of medical equipment, such as mouth masks and respirators.

Intensive care

Decisions on health care are mainly taken at the national level, but the free movement of goods is a European matter. Hospitals across Europe are finding that certain suppliers are no longer able to supply the necessary protective equipment or certain medical devices because national governments interfere with supplies to other countries. This can endanger the supply of hospitals. The European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA) therefore urgently appeals to national governments and the European commission to respect internal market agreements.

The COVID-19 virus poses major logistical challenges for hospitals. Closing borders for medical supplies can be disastrous for the whole of Europe
prof. dr. Wim Robberecht, CEO of UZ Leuven

Prof. dr. Wim Robberecht, CEO of the University Hospitals Leuven: "The COVID-19 virus poses major logistical challenges for hospitals. There is an increasing national reflex of every country taking care of itself in the supply of hospitals. However, it is vitally important that the principles of the open market can continue to play a role, so that medical suppliers can also continue to supply foreign customers and the hospitals remain able to fight this pandemic. Closing borders for medical supplies can be disastrous for the whole of Europe."

About EUHA

The European University Hospital Alliance was founded in April 2017 to jointly address the challenges facing university hospitals. University hospitals across Europe combine clinical care, research and teaching and play an important role in medical innovation and its translation into daily practice. By working together and learning from each other, EUHA aims to achieve the best results in patient care and join forces for research and education. The association is working at the European level to develop a healthcare system that can meet the challenges of the future.

The EUHA-members are: Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien - Medizinische Universität Wien, Austria, AP-HP, Assistance Publique, Hôpitaux de Paris, France, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, King’s Health Partners, London, UK, Ospedale San Raffaele, Milano, Italy, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain and the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium.

Last edit: 15 February 2021