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Our working group tackles the access to healthcare issue

Picture: Launch of the EPF Access Working Group, 2014 Annual General Meeting © EPF

In March, the EPF working group on access met for the 3rd time in Brussels. This internal group was launched at our Annual General Meeting in 2014 to support our work on access to healthcare, a longstanding priority and one of our six strategic goals for 2014-2020.

The Group is made up of 12 representatives nominated by our 64 members who are committed to contributing to the development of our strategy on access, and in policy and project work linked with access to healthcare. It will also strengthen our evidence base on health inequalities and access and contribute to the Patient Access Partnership.

How to define access?

The group is currently working on its first project, a definition of access to healthcare from the patients’ perspective. It is scheduled to be published after full membership consultation in the last quarter of 2015.

The rationale behind this initiative is that there are currently a variety of definitions of access in use which do not always cover all the dimensions that are important to patients. “Defining what access to healthcare means from the patients’ perspective and in a comprehensive way could be an important step towards better identifying access issues and setting measurable objectives to improve access to healthcare in the EU” said Laurène Souchet, EPF Policy Officer.

The working group plays a crucial role in providing EPF’s input into the Patient Access Partnership (PACT). This patient led network brings together the patients, the medical community, the industry and the European policy-makers to ensure equal access to quality healthcare is a priority of the EU institutions.

Contact: Laurène Souchet, EPF Policy Officer, laurene.souchet@eu-patient.eu