Health Minister Michael Damianos on Friday spoke in favour of a European Union proposal to stipulate that all patent holders for all medicinal products placed on the market ensure their product is available in every EU member state.

Damianos expressed his support for the initiative at an EU summit in Luxembourg, as well as for the range of proposed incentives for pharmaceutical companies proposed by the European Commission for the medicines to be made available across the bloc.

However, he argued against the commission’s proposal of an extra year of market protection for antimicrobial producers.

All 27 ministers present at the summit approved motions on the future of a “European Health Union”, the name given to the commission’s plans to shore up the bloc’s health system and better equip it to deal with crises, as well as building greater cooperation between member states in the field.

Additionally, Damianos spoke in favour of EU action to tackle the ongoing crisis of healthcare in Gaza, while also making reference to Cyprus’ Amalthea humanitarian aid corridor to the strip.

He also spoke on the matter of access to high quality healthcare at a working lunch and called for effective regulation and monitoring of various services and subsectors within the health sector, while also calling for action to address workforce shortages and to ensure public hospitals’ financial autonomy.