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Investing in European healthcare systems with Recovery and Resilience Facility & Cohesion Policy funds


Healthcare systems in Europe and around the globe are facing significant challenges, among them the need for better preparedness and reinforced resilience, highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded in parallel by demographic changes, financial shortages, and the availability of skilled staff.

Against this background, European decision makers have channeled significant EU resources towards investments in healthcare. Approximately €60 billion under different EU funding programmes will be spent on innovation, prevention, healthcare infrastructure and health digitalisation by 2027. Most of these funds are managed at country level through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and Cohesion Policy funds.

Healthcare investments under the RRF

Most Member States have included a wide range of health investments under their National Recovery and Resilience Plans, spanning from the construction of new health infrastructures or upgrading of existing ones, investments in medical equipment and devices, to digitalisation of health systems and improving delivery of care.

By way of example, almost €35 million in RRF funds are currently being disbursed to hospitals in the Czech Republic to facilitate connection to e-health services based on interoperability rules. Similarly, €100 million are expected to be made available in the first half of the year under the Romanian National Recovery and Resilience Plan for implementation of the telemedicine system.

Healthcare investments under Cohesion Policy

More than €10 billion are planned for investments in healthcare infrastructures and services from 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy funds.
Poland, Romania, Italy, Spain, and Greece will be the greatest spenders on health investments, but most Member States have identified healthcare as one of the priorities receiving support in their Cohesion Policy programmes.
Top 5 countries using EU funding for healthcare under Cohesion Policy: Poland, €2.4 bn; Romania, €2 bn; Italy, €1.2 bn; Spain, €1.2 bn; Greece, €0.6 bn

Cohesion Policy funds will be channeled towards:

  • infrastructural investments in health facilities, such as building new and upgrading existing health facilities, procurement of equipment and deployment of digital systems
  • soft measures aimed at improving health services; this can include a wide variety of actions, from implementation of targeted screening and early diagnosis programmes, to training of medical staff or re-organisation of health services delivery. 

In Romania, for example, close to €300 million from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) will be made available under the dedicated Healthcare Operational Programme to support implementation of population screening programmes, covering diverse pathologies such as cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, or hepatitis. Calls for proposals are planned all throughout 2024 and 2025 to select the hospitals which will be running these programmes.

Similarly, approximately €290 million are available under the Polish Infrastructure, Climate, Environment 2021-2027 Programme (FEnIKS) for the development of primary care services through procurement of medical and ICT equipment. Beginning this year, the grant operator, the National Health Fund, will launch calls for proposals to select the primary healthcare facilities that will receive support.

How we can help

With an outstanding track-record of leveraging EU and public sector funding for our clients' growth for over three decades, we can assist you in identifying and addressing the most relevant EU funding opportunities for your healthcare business initiatives.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how EU funds at country level can contribute to growing your business.

All data presented in this article are provided and interpreted by Schuman Associates based on official European Commission data.

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