On 1st October, the European Patients' Forum (EPF) launched its campaign for the 2014 EU Elections. The event provided a great platform to hear from key speakers such as the European Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, and Members of European Parliament including Dagmar Roth-Behrendt from Germany, who gave their views on how patients can be at the centre of EU policy making.
The title of the campaign, "Patients + Participation = Our Vote for a Healthier Europe" expresses the importance of putting patients right at the heart of healthcare policies. In his speech, Commissioner Borg welcomed the campaign, stressing that empowered patients are vital to the success of a healthcare system, and an asset for the economy. Putting patients in the driving seat enables them to participate in improving their own health. Ms. Roth- Behrendt added that patients and their caregivers are the best judges of whether a healthcare system works or not.
Commissioner Borg touched on several issues, but what really resonated was that work should be done in the EU to empower patients and to reduce patient suffering. Removing any obstacles from the process of gaining access to treatment, is an important step. When it comes down to it, patients hold the most important position in the health sector. Speakers underlined that all stakeholders, both at EU and Member State level, must be involved in meeting patients' needs; the responsibility of ensuring adequate access to healthcare across Europe cannot be taken on by one organisation alone.
Here at Lilly, we continuously strive to contribute to providing the best possible care for European citizens, and we share the EPF's commitment to achieving equitable access to healthcare for all. The importance of working together in Europe on improving health for all becomes even more apparent in today's challenging economic environment, as we discussed in our previous blog.
The event was a great kick off to the campaign and we look forward to seeing how it develops in the run up to the European elections in 2014.
You can follow the debate online via #epf2014 and #patientsvote