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Statement from the EUnetHTA Secretariat on COVID-19

Due to the developing COVID-19 scenario affecting Europe and with regard to the policy responses emerging on a per national basis from certain areas, the EUnetHTA Secretariat is implementing precautionary changes to its planned 2020 events schedule. This is following instructions from the Executive Board of the Dutch National Healthcare Institute (ZIN) to revise plans to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its staff.

Large scale EUnetHTA events will be converted from face-to-face meetings to an online conferencing format. Where this is not a viable solution, physical events are being postponed with the intention to reschedule to a more suitable date and/or location.

While we fully understand the extent of mutual time and effort that has gone into planning EUnetHTA activities, we trust you will also understand the need to respond to the current circumstances responsibly and with pragmatic measures to lessen the further impact of COVID-19.

The EUnetHTA Secretariat is applying the cautionary principle with its members’ wellbeing in mind and will seek to provide solutions for EUnetHTA events and activities based on the national directives of its members, solutions that offer a level of participant engagement and interaction that will ensure those events’ success.

For the following event, this means:

  • The EUnetHTA Forum (due to be held on 2 April 2020), with the currently planned agenda and speakers, will be postponed to September 2020. We will also endeavour to hold an additional half-day EUnetHTA Assembly alongside the Forum, to provide partners with the opportunity to meet face-to-face. A new date will be communicated via the EUnetHTA website shortly.

As of March 2020, the World Health Organisation has advised that the transmission of COVID-19 has not yet peaked, and this may unfortunately result in further cancellations of meetings, events and activities in the latter part of the year. The EUnetHTA Secretariat will continue to monitor and assess the situation as the outbreak develops and keep partners regularly up-to-date.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the EUnetHTA Secretariat at eunethta@zinl.nl should there be any questions or queries.

 

Marcus Guardian

Chief Operations Officer

EUnetHTA