Euregional cooperation in the health sector following the Corona crisis
The corona pandemic that has been raging for several months now is constantly presenting us with new challenges. There is currently no tested antidote to the virus and opinions differ as to how best to proceed in this crisis situation. There are clear differences, especially at national level.
As a result of the Corona crisis, the health authorities of the district of Viersen, the Rhine district of Neuss and the cities of Düsseldorf, Mönchengladbach and Krefeld as well as the GGD Limburg-Nord, GGD Süd-Limburg, euPrevent and EPECS (European Patients Empowerment for Customised Solutions) have decided to intensively exchange knowledge and improve communication among and with each other. This will ultimately benefit not only the offices but above all the citizens living in the region, on both sides of the border. As more knowledge is available, citizens can be better informed about the effects and measures related to the corona virus, even if political views still differ, for example in the case of the use of respirators in Germany and the Netherlands.
A euregional study commissioned by the Province of Limburg shows that there is a clear need for cooperation between Limburg and the neighbouring German territory in the field of public health. This problem has been addressed by the INTERREG project “Sustainable Healthy Euregio”. “For me personally, this INTERREG project means that, especially in times of COVID-19, it is clear how important cooperation across a border can be and is. But for this to happen, you would first have to know who to turn to in the other country: You have to know the experts and understand how they work,” says Brigitte van der Zanden, Managing Director of euPrevent.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has shown that the health services on both sides of the German-Dutch border have hardly known each other until now. “This INTERREG project enables an exchange of knowledge on topics such as communicable diseases, including COVID-19, measles and flu, youth health, hard-to-reach target groups and migrants. Workshops, study days, citizens’ forums and internships for experts will be organised,” said Brigitte van der Zanden.
The project “Sustainable Healthy Euregio (SHE)” will receive European funding for two years from the INTERREG programme Germany-Netherlands, the Province of Limburg and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The initiative for SHE came from the euregional knowledge transfer euPrevent on commission from the Province of Limburg. The aim is a sustainable cooperation between the two countries.