EPF Access Working Group Meeting summary - 18 October

Report by working group member Lilyana Chavdarova, PACT and NPO

The EPF Access Working Group revised the latest version of the EPF Roadmap and recognised the importance of this project for it reflects the broad expertise, in-depth knowledge and real-life experience of access to healthcare for a number of patient representatives and healthcare stakeholders. The document is the result of an inclusive and prolonged consultation process which should serve as a basis of concrete future actions on behalf of governments and the healthcare community to improve access to healthcare for all.

The members also discussed and agreed upon a strategy for effective and succinct visual presentation of the key messages. They also consulted on the details of the format and agenda of the upcoming meeting on December 6th at the European Parliament.

Following a brief overview of the members’ engagement with the EPF Access Campaign over the past year which was rather successful and exceeded the pre-set targets, the Access Working Group discussed approaches to overcome the language barrier which proves to be a major obstacle to transmit the message to the national level. They emphasised the need to rely more on existing low-cost technological solutions and to utilize the potential of the EPF membership for support.

Being acquainted with the strategic and operational work plan of EPF in the context of the application for the next Framework Partnership Agreement 2018-2021, the Access Working Group agreed upon the need to renew the mandate of the Working Group. They suggested the involvement of new members of EPF to broaden the scope of the represented organisations. It was affirmed that the work of the Access WG has brought value both to its participants and EPF as a tool for consultation and transparent and inclusive decision-making over pertinent issues.

The meeting provided an opportunity to raise awareness on two important reports released recently, namely:

  • The European Dementia Monitor (Alzheimer Europe), presented by Vanessa Challinor, which provides a benchmark of national dementia policies in order to compare and rate the responses of European countries to the dementia challenge.
  • The draft Opinion on Benchmarking access to healthcare in the EU of the Expert Panel for Effective Ways of Investing in Health (presented by PACT) which proposes benchmarks and policy levers to guiding Member States to close gaps in access to healthcare.