Answer to Written Question: Oral health as a priority
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
The Commission approaches non-communicable diseases including those related to oral health, by focusing on prevention across sectors and policy fields, combined with efforts to strengthen health systems. In order to address these challenges and to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular target 3.4, the Commission has set up a Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases to support countries by fostering exchanges of relevant experience, policies and best practices between the Member States. In 2020, the group has prioritized use of tobacco and alcohol, obesity and environmental risk factors of non-communicable diseases for the purpose of rolling out best practices. Some of these risk factors are closely related to oral health and may be addressed through best practices. The sharing of best practices among Member States also allows for reducing health inequalities.
A joint Action on Health Equity Europe is currently financed for the period from June 2018 to November 2021 under the 3rd Health Programme. It addresses health inequalities and underlying social determinants of health through more than 80 actions in the participating Member States in several areas. Oral health is addressed in two actions including “Promotion of personal and oral hygiene among children aged 3-5 and reducing any inequalities among children from different provinces, ethnic groups and socio-economic levels in Cyprus” and “Improving access to oral health services among disadvantaged children in Spain (Andalusia)”.