The future of health
We are eager to welcome you to our forthcoming conference: “The future of health – Advancing the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in Europe” taking place at the Novotel Brussels City Center (Rue de la Vierge Noire 32) on 11 and 12 of July!
The institutional renewal during 2019 offers a crucial opportunity for the stakeholders in health to advocate for the central role of health in European Policy. As an inherently collaborative organization, PACT has built upon cooperation among stakeholders from its very beginning, and with this conference, we bring together a variety of partners across sectors, from the several Member States to discuss and reaffirm the importance and our commitment to health, and the need for strong EU collaboration for health.
Building on the discussions on the future of health, learning from your shared views on how to overcome the challenges of the past, and to build more comprehensive policies in the future, we will launch the #HealthPACT during session III of the event. This conclusion document will outline our shared vision, our shared responsibilities, and the actions needed to improve access to health thus advancing the Sustainable Development Agenda in Europe!
We welcome the comments and feedback from our partners and the various health stakeholders to this document which will be further enriched around the context of the conference.
The future of EU cooperation on HTA
In view of the proposal by the European Commission to strengthen EU cooperation on Health Technology Assessment, the MEP Interest Group on Access will host a debate on the future of EU cooperation on HTA and its potential to improve access to innovative health technologies for patients across the EU.
By providing the platform for an exchange of views it will seek to gather the perspectives of health stakeholders before the draft report of the European Parliament is voted in ENVI. The event will take place on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 from 17:30 to 19:30 in room JAN 6Q1 in the European Parliament.
Among the distinguished speakers of the event will be Soledad Cabezón Ruiz MEP (Rapporteur in the ENVI Committee), Ioana Siska, MD, PhD (Policy Officer, Health Technology Assessment, Unit B4, DG SANTE), Ilko Getov MScPharm, PhD, (Chair of the HTA Committee to the Ministry of Health of Bulgaria), Philipp Tillich (Health Attaché, Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU), Kaisa Immonen (Director of Policy, European Patients’ Forum) and François Houÿez (Director of Treatment Information and Access, EURORDIS) as well as high-level representatives on behalf of the Austrian Ministry of Health.
To register for the event, please click here.
Turning principles into a reality – for more equitable healthcare across Europe19 April 2021
Call to Action to all PACT Partners18 February 2021
Turning principles into a reality – for more equitable healthcare across Europe
A meeting of the MEP Interest Group on Equitable Access to Healthcare, organised jointly with the Patient Access Partnership (PACT) on 19 April, provided the occasion to address topical issues related to healthcare, equitable access, and health systems performance across the EU.
Introducing the meeting, PACT Chairperson Susanna Palkonen stated that ‘the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pre-existing systemic healthcare problems and shone a harsh light on the principle of equitable access to healthcare.’ Interest Group Co-chairs, present at the meeting, also expressed their concern; MEP Sara Cerdas called for ‘identifying the gaps in equitable access to healthcare (who? how? why?) to meet the European citizens’ expectations.’ MEP Andrey Kovatchev supported the statement made by elaborating that ‘better access metrics can help us ensure that EU financial instruments can ultimately deliver meaningful change in favor of better access on the ground.’ Nevertheless, added MEP Tomislav Sokol, ‘as long as differences in access exist, we cannot speak of European solidarity.’
Against this background, the meeting explored new, more tangible, solutions for making European health systems adaptive and receptive to the urgent patient needs.
The first presenter of the meeting, DG SANTE Policy Officer Katarzyna Ptak-Bufkens presented an overview of current approaches and opportunities for improvement in access to healthcare, outlined in the recently published report by the Expert Group on Health System Performance Assessment. Katarzyna Ptak-Bufkens emphasized on the crucial role of comprehensive and standardized measurement tools across the EU. She also underlined that ‘The new report is set in the framework of the Pillar of Social Rights, in order to ensure better measurement tools for more targeted policy actions.’ The Action Plan for the implementation of the Pillar announced new tools to better measure barriers and gaps in access to healthcare that can help to align the provision of health services to health needs.
Hub Coordinator, Dr. Ewout Van Ginneken, representing the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies also provided interesting insights on whether a vignette approach can add to existing access indicators. Dr. Ewout Van Ginneken concluded his intervention by stating that ‘The vignette approach can identify gaps in coverage and access to recommended care as well as differences in treatment.’
Portuguese Health Attaché João Miguel Lança underlined the Portugal Presidency’s overarching health priorities, in context of access to healthcare and pointed out five key areas and namely reinforcing the public health cooperation, by building a European Health Union, supporting sustainable, equitable and universal access to medicines and medical devices, promotion of digital health, strengthen the EU role in Global health, alongside tackling the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19.
Ingrid Stegeman from EuroHealthNet reminded the audience that most inequalities in health are not due to inequalities in access to healthcare, but rather due to social determinants of health. She stated that a more ‘holistic’ approach to health and access to healthcare is needed that reflects wider socio-economic factors.
Dr. Daniel López Acuña, Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of the Joint Action Health Equity Europe (JAHEE) Initiative elaborated further: in order to reduce inequalities in access to health and social services ‘A true Equity approach is needed and should be a Universal one.’
European Policy Centre Policy Analyst Ms. Simona Guagliardo, underlined the need for a strong European Health Union, the need to learn and react swiftly to the pandemic to jointly shape the recovery from COVID-19. ‘Health should be seen as investment, but not a cost. People’s health and wellbeing should be linked with the social and economic prosperity’ concluded Simona Guagliardo.
There was agreement among the participants that in order to turn principles into a reality of more equitable healthcare, tools developed thus far should be flexible, adaptable according to experience. The added value of transforming policies into workable implantation strategies in the field of healthcare is key, resulting in impact and better outcomes for patients and society at Member State level.
1 Video from the event could be found on the following link.
2 The Patient Access Partnership (PACT) is a patient-led multi-stakeholder network bringing together patients, the medical and public health community, industry and the European and member states policy makers and institutions, in order to develop and move forward on innovative solutions to reduce inequities in access to quality healthcare in the European Union.
3 MEP Interest Group on Equitable Access to Healthcare: officially launched on 27 January 2015 the European Parliament Interest Group aims 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 also promotes synergies and knowledge-sharing regarding disease specific initiatives in the EP relating to access, and other thematic interest groups to ensure maximum effectiveness. The secretariat is being provided by PACT.
4 Full report by the Expert Group on Health System Performance Assessment.
Call to Action to all PACT Partners
In view of the ongoing exchange between EU Member States and the European Commission on the recovery and resilience plans, the Patient Access Partnership has launched a Call to Action to encourage you and your national constituents to take active participation in the consultation process on the recovery and resilience plans at the national level.