The first step of the ERN application revision process (eligibility check by the European Commission) for new Healthcare Provider (HCP) members closed at the end of January. VASCERN is happy to announce that we have now received 27 new applications from 14 countries: 1 Belgium, 4 Germany, 2 Denmark, 2 Spain, 1 France, 1 Croatia, 6 Italy, 1 Lithuania, 1 Netherlands, 2 Norway, 1 Poland, 1 Portugal, 1 Romanian, 2 Sweden, and 1 UK.
The evaluation process by VASCERN is now underway with all applications being reviewed in order to see if they meet the eligibility criteria to join our network.
In order to perform this review we have dedicated two special council meetings, to discuss the applications, that took place on February 19th 2020 and March 11th, 2020. The council is the operational decision-making body of VASCERN and each application was thoroughly evaluated during these two meetings.
In summary, the timeline for the assessment of the new HCP applications is as follows:
- December-January: first step was eligibility check by EC – complete
- February-End of April: 3 months to give our draft argumented opinion regarding each of these HCP applications on the platform of the European Commision. Coordination is responsible to submit the opinions – ongoing
- May: The HCPs have the opportunity to reply and revise their applications within 1 month, in case of a negative argumented draft opinion.
- June: The ERN has then 1 month to write its final opinion. If the Board of the Network fails to send the draft opinion or deliver the final opinion within the deadlines set, the final opinion should be deemed favourable.
In the case of a favorable opinion by the ERN:
- An Independent assessment body will formally assess the positively assessed applications based on:
- HCP eligibility
- Documentation assessment
- Audits and technical assessment
- Final report
In case of an unfavorable opinion by the ERN:
- The National authority of the HCP will receive the unfavourable opinion.
- If the opinion is unfavourable, the Applicant may contact its National Authority. It would then be for the National Authority to decide whether to ask or not the BoMS to overrule the decision.
Lastly, the Board of Member States validate all of the HCP applications.
The entire process should be completed at the end of the year, for integration of new HCPs next year in 2021.
The final number of new members that join VASCERN will only be known at the end of the whole assessment process. We are confident however that we will be enlarging our geographical coverage with HCPs from countries not yet members of VASCERN and look forward to welcoming these HCPs.
More information on this call can be found on the European Commission page here