EPF advocates a patient perspective on the “Health for Growth” proposal

The European Commission’s proposal for a health programme 2014-2020, titled “Health for Growth”, was published on 9 November 2011.  EPF was vocal in giving feedback in the run-up to the publication of this proposal, both independently and jointly with the European Public Health Association (EPHA). The proposal is currently awaiting its first reading in the Parliament, with Françoise Grossetête MEP (EPP, France) as the rapporteur.

The main concern of the “Health for Growth” proposal is to support Member States in adopting innovative solutions in health and prevention that will contribute to the sustainability of health systems; and in implementing EU health legislations. 

EPF proposed a number of amendments to the Commission’s proposal, focusing primarily on health inequalities, patient empowerment and health literacy. “We believe a strong recognition of the fundamental European values of solidarity and equity is particularly important in the current financial climate. The concept of “European added value” should include the potential for achieving key social objectives, such as the reduction of health inequalities as well as patients’ and citizens’ empowerment”, said Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous, EPF Senior Policy Adviser. 

Patients’ empowerment in particular is a crucial strategy for creating future health systems that are responsive to the needs of citizens and to deliver high-quality and equitable care in a sustainable way. Improved health literacy is a key empowerment tool and may have substantial impact on reducing healthcare costs. But empowerment also needs to be tackled from a systems perspective, through implementing principles of patient-centred healthcare and facilitating patients’ and their representative organisations to be involved at all levels of healthcare policy-making.

The future EU health programme will provide a framework for the annual work plans of the Commission and the actions prioritised in the field of health. It will therefore have a direct or indirect impact on patient communities across the EU.

For more information about the European Parliament draft report, click here and about the Europe 2020 Strategy, click here.

To read the joint letter of EPF-EPHA, click here

For more information, you can write to Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous, EPF Senior Policy Adviser, at kaisa.immonen.charalambous@eu-patient.eu.