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First Council of Europe programme on Public Health

Recommendation 438 (1965)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly Debate on 1st October 1965 (16th Sitting) (see Doc. 1960, report of the Social Committee). Text adopted by the Assembly on 1st October 1965 (16th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Having noted the statements made before the Consultative Assembly, in April 1964 by Mr. Halvard Lange, and in January 1965 by Mr. Wahlen, Chairmen-in-Office of the Committee of Ministers, concerning the establishment of a general programme of work for the Council of Europe, as well as the statement by the Secretary General on 4th May 1965 ;
2. Considering that the public health activities of the Council of Europe have increased greatly during the last few years ;
3. Considering that it is desirable that those activities should continue and new ones be undertaken in accordance with a first medium-term programme based on a guiding principle ;
4. Considering that priority should be given in this programme to the effects of modern civilisation on physical and mental health ;
5. Considering that, in drawing up a first programme, a distinction ought to be made between subjects already being dealt with by the expert committees of the Council of Europe or the Partial Agreement and those which have not yet been considered by these bodies but should nevertheless be examined because of their acuteness and urgency ;
6. Considering that the factors which could have the greatest influence on public health during the next few years would appear to be :
a Increase of the European population, which, on the one hand, leads to an increase in general social requirements and, on the other, raises a demographic problem ;
b Progressive industrialisation with the concentration of an ever-increasing number of inhabitants in the towns ;
c Application of new methods in agriculture, whose consequences will be felt by both agriculture and the consumer ;
d Increase in the movement of goods and people among the various countries of Europe and from other continents to Europe ;
e Raising of the standard of living, probable reduction of working hours and much more time for leisure ;
f Raising of the standard of health, prolongation of life and, consequently, increase in the number of old and very old people ;
7. Having taken note of the views of experts,
8. Recommends the Committee of Ministers :

(i) That the following activities should be pursued and developed through its competent bodies, namely, as the case may be, the Committee of Experts on Public Health, the appropriate Partial Agreement committees and the ad hoc Committee on Air Pollution, to which this report should be transmitted :

(a) Air pollution

(for action by the ad hoc Committee on Air Pollution)

Consider how far and by what means the Council of Europe should participate in the campaign against the harmful effects of air pollution ;

(b) Noise abatement

(for action by the Working Party on noise abatement of the Committee of Experts on Public Health)

By means of European agreements or conventions, prepare practical measures for adoption by the member States of the Council of Europe ;

(c) Health protection of food Codex Alimentarius

(for action by the Partial Agreement Sub-Committee on the health control of food-stuffs)

Lay down food standards applicable to all the member countries of the Partial Agreement and prepare, on a regional basis, a Codex Alimentarius which could gradually be accepted by the other member countries of the Council of Europe ;

(d) European Pharmacopoeia

(for action by the European Pharmacopoeia Commission)

Invite the European Pharmacopoeia Commission, established in accordance with the Convention on the elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia, to do its utmost to ensure that the accession of new member countries to this institution take as little time as possible ;

(e) Medical treatment - Lowering of cost of treatment

(for action by the Committee of Experts on Public Health)

To carry out studies aimed at reducing the cost of treatment, whilst maintaining and improving the standard, and dealing in particular with :

The effect on such cost of organising a system of preventive medicine ;
The effect on such cost of dispensing treatment : (i) in a hospital ; (ii) in a specialised institution or one intermediate between the hospital and the home (clinics, day-hospitals, first-aid posts, etc.) ; (iii) at home (home care) ;
The inter-relationship between the cost and the organisation of nursing care in hospital establishments, day-hospitals, and at home ;
Types of patient amenable to one or other form of care ;

(f) Old people

(for action by the Committee of Experts on Public Health)

Compare, at European level, national studies and experiments relating to the medical and medical-social problems raised by genescence and old people with a view to evolving a common policy ;

(g) Leisure

(for action by the Committee of Experts on Public Health)

Study the medical, psychiatric and psychological problems which affect the use of leisure and result from it ;

(h) Camping hygiene

(for action by the Committee of Experts on Public Health)

Introduce a Council of Europe "label" to be granted to camping sites which comply with the health standards already laid down by the Committee of Experts on Public Health ;

(ii) That the following questions should be placed on the agenda, as the case may be, of the Committee of Experts on Public Health and the Committee of Experts for the Conservation of Nature and Landscape :

(a) Water pollution

(for action by the Committee of Experts on Public Health and the Committee of Experts for the Conservation of Nature and Landscape)

Establishment on the one hand of European agreements between States sharing the same river basin and, on the other, determination of the general principles of a European policy aimed at the prevention of water pollution, based on the report of the Consultative Assembly (Doc. 1965) ;

(b) Organisation of treatment of accident victims

(for action by the Committee of Experts on Public Health)

Study of the organisation at European level of accident treatment in the initial and in the final stages, in particular :

emergency treatment with the application of modern methods of resuscitation ;
functional rehabilitation which, if applied from the outset and increasingly developed as the disability is overcome, would help countless accident victims to recover more rapidly and more completely ;

(c) Prevention of road accidents

(for action by the Committee of Experts on Public Health)

Promotion and co-ordination of medical and sociological studies and research with a view to exposing and reducing certain causes of road accidents ;

(iii) To consider these suggestions as a programme of work to be put into operation, by stages, if possible during the next five years, through concerted action by the competent governmental committees.