Patient-centred Roundtable in Portugal25 February, 2019
Patient-centred Roundtable in Romania20 November, 2017
Patient-centred Roundtable in Lithuania8 June, 2017
Patient-centred Roundtable in Portugal
On February 25, the Patient Access Partnership (PACT) in partnership with Grupo de Ativistas em Tratamentos (GAT) and the collaborative initiative MAIS PARTICIPAÇÃO Melhor saúde that GAT promotes, held a meeting in Lisbon, entitled “Patient-Centred Roundtable on Working Together for Accessible Health”, to discuss opportunities for improving cooperation between Portuguese health stakeholders for better access to quality healthcare in the country. The event, was organized with the institutional support of the Health Parliamentary Commission and the Ministry of Health of Portugal.
Welcoming the participants, Mr. Luis Mendão (president of GAT) highlighted the importance of health systems that are both patient and prevention centered. He remarked the relevance of PACT as an initiative that supports the synergies between the European and local institutions for the benefit of access to health care for all patients. Dr. Stanimir Hasardzhiev (Secretary-General of PACT) presented the event as the third of its kind where PACT has hoped to serve as a platform for active dialogue between the European institutions and the Member States.
Ms. Isabel Aldir (Director for Viral Hepatitis and HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis Priority Program) reinstated the commitment of the National Health Service to addressing the citizen’s needs and went on to highlighting the importance of patients’ involvement in health policy – for which health literacy and empowerment are a prerequisite, and the need of active involvement from all stakeholders in efforts to assure access to healthcare.
Mr. Ricardo Baptista Leite (Member of the Portuguese Parliament) emphasized the need of truly accessible systems for which access to relevant and quality information is essential. Speaking of the European Semester, Mr. Carl Larsson Lindqvist (DG SANTE, European Commission) presented the efforts of the European Commission to support primarily financial sustainability and access the healthcare.
Representatives from EUPATI, the Fast Track Cities initiative, academics, civil society, trade associations, policy makers, patient organizations, public health experts and other stakeholders, discussed in details the main issues that the Portuguese healthcare system faces. Issues such as literacy and empowerment of patients – including prevention, the reinforcement of a truly inclusive healthcare system, the efficiency of existing resources, the need of better cooperation and dialogue among stakeholders and investment in new technologies were central throughout the conversations.
Patient-centred Roundtable in Romania
On November 20, the Patient Access Partnership (PACT) and the Coalition of Organisations of Patients with Chronic Diseases in Romania (COPAC) held a meeting in Bucharest, entitled “Patient-Centred Roundtable on Working Together for Accessible Health”, to discuss opportunities for improving cooperation between Romanian stakeholders for better access to quality healthcare in the country.
The event, organised in cooperation with the Health Committee of the Senate (Romanian Parliament), the Health Committee of the Deputy Chamber (Romanian Parliament) and the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), was endorsed by the Romanian Minister of Health – Florian Bodog.
Following the discussions, it became evident that patients in Romania face barriers in access to healthcare due to geographic, economic and social reasons. Although progress has been made, there is room for improvement to ease the financial hardship for patients related to healthcare costs, to address unmet needs, to improve access to medicines and to take measures against shortage of healthcare personnel which exacerbates the inequalities in access to healthcare.
To manage these and other related issues, the Romanian government needs to employ and modify actions informed by best practices elsewhere. Moreover, to ensure that solutions are fit-for-purpose with real added-value for patients, their voice and recommendations need to be taken into account. The viewpoint of the other stakeholders, consulted on a regular basis in advance of decision-making, will bring comprehensive understanding of complex issues, prevent unnecessary spending on policies which do not achieve tangible results and ensure that solutions are tailor-made for the specific needs of society.
Patient-centred Roundtable in Lithuania
On June 8, the Patient Access Partnership (PACT) and the Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition (POLA) held a stakeholder meeting entitled “Patient-Centred Roundtable on Working Together for Accessible Health”. The event, organized in cooperation with the Committee on Health Affairs of Lithuanian Parliament (Vilnius), Lithuanian Ministry of Health, Lithuanian Patients‘ Forum and the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), took place in the Lithuanian Parliament and was held under the auspices and with the presence of the Lithuanian Minister of Health, Prof. Dr. Aurelijus Veryga.
The meeting was the first of several planned country stakeholder meetings to be held in selected EU Member States. It was initiated by PACT as a follow-up event to the PACT Regional Conference (12-13 September 2016, Sofia) where one of the main conclusions coming from the discussions between various stakeholders from Central and Eastern Europe was that the European Semester process should better reflect the country-level situation.
An emphasis was put on the need to allow broader stakeholder involvement and input with respect to the Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs). In this context, the meeting in Lithuania offered a timely opportunity for policy-makers and the healthcare community in Lithuania to increase cooperation and explore opportunities for effective engagement on existing and future healthcare policies with the aim to improve access to quality healthcare for patients.