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Why health is crucial to European Recovery?

The health sector in Europe is facing a period of unprecedented change due to increased demand because of demography, the increase in chronic disease as well as the first reduction in public spending on health in almost 40 years. The Friends of Europe Policy Summit explored how innovation can help Europe to deliver more health for less money. A report will be available soon.The debate highlighted the importance of using knowledge more effectively, prioritising prevention, ensuring creative collaboration between stakeholders and using technology to improve efficiency. EPF Director Nicola Bedlington represented EPF at the Summit and participated in a panel looking at the life sciences industry and the need for a new strategic agenda.

“Profound healthcare reform is needed to respond to the major challenges addressed in the earlier debates – we cannot just play around the edges” said Ms Bedlington.

As an umbrella organisation of patients diagnosed with chronic diseases, EPF is dealing with secondary, and tertiary, rather than primary prevention. However we believe that primary prevention should be part of a powerful continuum of prevention, health promotion and patient-centred chronic disease management, and health investment should recognise this.

EPF’s input into the European Commission’s Reflection Process on chronic diseases focuses very much on an empowerment model. In this, patients can play a central part in managing their disease with the right information and supports. This is based on strong evidence from our projects and our membership.

To facilitate empowerment we promote meaningful patient involvement in innovation in all its forms – low tech, high tech, social , technological , pharmaceutical, to optimise impact and ‘get it right’ for patients.

“Patients should be seen as part of the solution not purely the problem in achieving high quality, patient- centred equitable and sustainable healthcare, building on the 3 tenets of information, health literacy and patient empowerment” concluded EPF Director.

For more information, please contact nicola.bedlington@eu-patient.eu