Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) launched on 27 January 2015 the European Parliament Interest Group to tackle health inequalities and enhance proper access to high-quality healthcare for all patients. The main objective of the Group is to play a major role in providing a platform for discussion and concrete action, in cooperation with patients and the healthcare community. It will also promote synergies and knowledge-sharing regarding disease specific initiatives in the EP relating to access, and other thematic interest groups to ensure maximum effectiveness.

The event was hosted by MEP Andrey Kovatchev with a special opinion speech by Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner of Health and Food Safety who was also present at the launch event to show his support for the cause.

MEP Biljana Borzan (S&D, Croatia), MEP Cristian Silviu Bușoi (EPP, Romania), MEP Katerina Konecna (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic) and MEP Karin Kadenbach (S&D, Austria) joined him as co-chair of this new MEP Interest Group.

The economic crisis has strongly affected our society. Health systems were already facing the pressure of growing demand for healthcare due to an ageing population, have been particularly affected. Access to quality healthcare needs to be secured now and more than ever.

Some patients in Europe cannot access proper diagnosis and treatment. Innovation in healthcare does not reach EU Member States in an equal way” said MEP Andrey Kovatchev (Bulgaria, EPP)

The problems of patients deserve more commitment from the EU institutions! Therefore, the Interest Group on Access to health is set up to bridge health stakeholders with EU policy-making in search for solutions“, he added, talking about the MEP Interest Group.

Besides giving a platform of discussion for stakeholders and policy-makers, the Group will promote synergies between disease-specific initiatives in the EP relating to access, and other thematic interest groups to ensure maximum effectiveness.