The GOVERNANCE of the health system with regard to COVID-19 relates to pandemic response plans and the steering of the health system to ensure its continued functioning. It includes emergency response mechanisms, as well as how information is being communicated, and the regulation of health service provision to patients affected by the virus.
On June 22, the Parliament adopted two COVID-19 laws that define the legal framework, including for mandatory protective measures, to be applicable after the expiration of the state of emergency on June 24. The first law focuses on restricting mass gatherings, adopting protective measures like masks, and testing and isolating people who are infected. The second focuses on health restrictions related to economic, sports, cultural, and other activities open to the public (see Section 1.2).
On July 21, the Parliament adopted two new laws. The first law allots EUR 60 million for a COVID-19 testing program in order to conduct more than 50,000 tests per week starting in late August. The second law increases medical training at the national university.
On March 21, the Parliament adopted the extension of the initial 10-day period of state of emergency over a period of maximum 3 months. During the state of emergency, the government can impose measures that may deviate from existing laws.
The High Commission for National Protection (HCPN) coordinates the crisis management. An interministerial unit coordinates the initiatives of the different ministries. An internal crisis unit within the Ministry of Health is responsible for coordinating efforts within hospitals, laboratories, primary care, pharmacies, nursing homes and care networks. This unit manages logistics, equipment, sanitary reserve and crisis communication.
The amended law of 23 July 2016 on the organisation of the High Commission for National Protection (HCPN) appoints the HCPN to plan and implement a national protection concept (which includes, among other things, the prevention and management of large-scale crises). The crisis unit ensures the political and strategic lead of major crises. It is in charge of (1) analysing the situation in the country; (2) setting the general strategy of the State's response and (3) initiating, coordinating and ensuring the implementation of all measures to deal with the crisis.
The government has set up an Advisory Council with experts from different sectors to assess the effects of the measures decided as part of the fight against COVID-19 on a regular basis. On April 20, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health had a first informal exchange with the Advisory Council. The agenda of this first informal exchange included the state of the general situation of the country with regard to COVID-19 from a psycho-social, economic and societal point of view. The group also discussed the impact of the measures taken by the government to deal with COVID-19 on the population of the Grand Duchy and its cross-border workers, as well as the resulting side effects.