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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why does the NHS need an embassy in Brussels?

People used to think that Health was one of the few remaining areas where the EU didn't have much control.

Think again. The NHS Confederation now has an office in Brussels and six people working full time lobbying the EU.

According to their website they are dealing with everything from working time to emissions trading, green vehicles and "eHealth".

They churn out briefings and hold receptions:

The Office is organising a Reception in the European Parliament, Brussels, on Wednesday 10 September. The event will be hosted by a cross-party group of MEPs. High-level representatives of the NHS will attend and senior delegates from the EU Institutions and key stakeholders will be invited. The event will promote the Office and its work to the wider Brussels community and will present an opportunity for NHS colleagues to discuss EU developments impacting on the NHS.

We can't decide. Which is worse: that the NHS is wasting cash on on Brussels lobbying, or that they feel that they need to?

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