EPF prepares for GASTEIN

The future development of health and health systems will be at the core of this year’s 16th European Health Policy Forum Gastein, on 2-4 October 2013. EPF will be present to represent the patients’ perspective.

Workshop on “Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI)”, Thursday 3 October 12:30-14:00

Our Policy Officer Laurène Souchet will talk about patient safety and our involvement in Healthcare-associated infections (HAI). Such infections represent an urgent public health issue and a threat to the safety of European patients.

Workshop on “Patient Involvement”, Friday 4 October, 7.30-9.00

EPF will run a workshop to explore the health budget cuts resulting from widespread austerity measures and their impact on access to screening, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and health management – and ultimately on health outcomes.

A recent Commission Staff Working Document addressing ‘Investment in health’, part of the Social Investment Package, underlines the primordial importance of good health as a key factor in economic growth and personal well-being.

“Achieving high standards of health should be considered as one of the key drivers of economic recovery. Continued and well-targeted investment in health and health services - prevention, treatment and care- is therefore crucial”, said Nicola Bedlington, EPF Director.

All health stakeholders have a place and a contribution to make in this debate, with patients playing a central role.  Patients experience to the full the current budget restrictions and diminished access; in many instances, they are expected to take on greater responsibility for their health and lifestyle choices as a condition for such access. Given these trends, patient empowerment and health literacy are key concepts.

This open debate will involve a cross section of stakeholders. This has been made possible through an unrestricted grant from SANOFI to Gastein.

Workshop on “A Health Literate Europe”, 13.00-14.30, Friday 4 October

Out Senior Policy Adviser Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous will explain the importance of patients’ empowerment, through health literacy, to improve healthcare systems. She will explain that patients are not only the “end-users” of these systems but also play a central role in improving health, health outcomes and health systems.

A more health literate Europe means that European healthcare systems can improve the way they meet the health needs of the citizens. Health literacy strengthens the role of patients and citizens with regard to their own health, thereby allowing reducing the growing burden on health systems.

Plenary session on “Resolving the efficiency and quality dilemma”, Wednesday 2 October, 15:00-18:00

Nicola Bedlington will represent EPF in a plenary session entitled “Resolving the efficiency and quality dilemma”  and will also take part in a session on Primary Care, led by EPF member the European Men’s Health Forum.

We will  use our presence in Gastein to highlight our campaign for the next EU Elections “Patients + Participation = Our Vote for a Healthier Europe” (see related article here).

A full report on our contribution to Gastein will be included in the next issue of the newsletter.

For more information, please visit the website www.ehg.org or contact EPF Director Nicola Bedlington at nicola.bedlington@eu-patient.eu.