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EPF Leadership Meeting

©EPF

On 4th February 2016, 27 patient leaders from 21 different patient organisations (EPF members) met in Brussels for the first EPF Leadership Meeting.

The objective was to take stock of the place of the patient movement in European health policy today, and to reflect on the roles and responsibilities of patient organisations therein.

How do we put forward patients’ interests in a European policy landscape where healthcare appears not to be a priority? Patient leaders agreed on the necessity to progress on the implementation of legislation that is already on the table, and to continue promoting an enabling environment, through initiatives such as the Patient Empowerment Campaign, or our common work on patient access.

The meeting also provided the opportunity for patient organisations to exchange on their respective policy initiatives, and to look at the possible synergies that exist between these.

Putting forces together is especially important as resourcing their work is a real challenge for patient organisations. Sustainability of patient organisations was one of the main foci of the meeting. According to the participants, one of the roots of the problem might be the lack of awareness of the added-value of patient organisations to the healthcare system. “Only by getting real recognition of the contribution of patient organisations to the public health debate can we expect a change in funding schemes”, said Anders Olauson, EPF President.

A working group on sustainable patient organisations, created in January and facilitated by EPF, was tasked to take forward this issue and to look at innovative ways to support the work of patient organisations.

Contact: Camille Bullot, EPF Membership & Stakeholder Manager, camille.bullot@eu-patient.eu