VIEWPOINT What has Maastricht got to do with health educators, apart from meaning they will probably be paid in ecu by the end of the century? Maybe a lot. While the UK cele brated its opt-out clause on monetary union, very few people noticed that the European Community has mus cled into health education. Michael O'Connor The Treaty of Rome, the local level. On the other hand, the Director of the Brussels' Bible, now includes a Commission could provide a use Coronary Prevention Group, London clause saying "Community action ful forum for health educators. shall be directed towards the pre I can understand why health vention of diseases, in particular educators might feel that what the major health scourges, includ goes on in Brussels is a bit distant ing drug abuse, by promoting from problems on their doorstep. research into their causes and But it would be a mistake to take their transmission, as well as this view. While Brussels can be a health information and educa threat to those who do not take tion". This means that, for the the initiative to become involved, first time, the EC has a direct role it can be a power-house for those in public health. who get stuck in and shape policy. You cannot do it as an individual. This unheralded change is to be If they are to make any impact in welcomed if it means that we get Brussels, health educators need agricultural policies that reflect active representative bodies com health concerns rather than giving mitted to lobbying. Perhaps the priority to farmers' incomes, and International Union of Health food labelling policies aimed at Education should take on this promoting healthy choices. We important role. would all like to see an end to the schemes whereby full-fat milk is As a very minimum, health edu sold at a cheaper rate to schools cators should be contacting their than semi-skimmed milk. local MEPs (know who they are?) and asking them what they are But we do not yet know pre going to do to ensure that cisely how this new power will be Europe promotes public health used. One of the first things the post-Maastricht. Health educators Commission has to decide is what are the "major health scourges". owe it to their clients, especially children, to make sure that But some things are clear already. Europe develops in a way that The Commission should not actually carry out health educa promotes health. tion because this is best done at a Get involved! 8 May 1992 HEALTH EDUCATION
Health Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1992
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