Looking at Health Literacy and Self-Care with our Spanish Coalition

Our Membership Officer Camille Bullot attended the conference entitled “Health Literacy and Self-Care: new challenges” on 28 April 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. This event was organised by the Global Institute of Public Health and Health Policy at UIC (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya), in collaboration with our Member, the Spanish Patients' Forum.

In her inaugural lecture, Rima Rudd of the Harvard University explained that improving the skills of patients was key to improve health literacy. “However, putting the responsibility on the patients can be overwhelming. We need to shift focus: from the skills of patients to ability of health professionals to support and actively engage patients”. She also pointed out that health systems need to change to be more accessible and ease the navigation process.

Ms Bullot shared the results of a recent research undertaken as part of the European Health Literacy Study. It has shown that limited health literacy is a challenge in several countries in Europe: on average, 47% of respondents have limited health literacy across 8 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain).

“Health literacy is more than just information, it encompasses the capacity to access, evaluate and relate information to one’s own situation and take actions. Besides, navigating the health ‘maze’ is challenging, even for people with high education”, explained our Membership Officer.

A moving tribute to Albert Jovell

The Conference was also the occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to Albert Jovell who died in November 2013. He was the Director of the Global Institute of Public Health and Health Policy in Catalunya and he was also among EPF’s pioneers as he has been Member of the EPF Board for two terms since the Spanish Patients’ Forum joined EPF in 2007.

M. Jovell dedicated his life to the promotion of patients' rights at national and international level. He brought hope to the Patients’ Movement as he unceasingly stressed the importance of listening to the patients’ community. He promoted the ability for patients to take part in decision-making and be more involved in their own self-care, whilst being a great advocate for public health and bringing health centres and hospitals in Spain closer to the needs of patients.

EPF thanks Albert Jovell for his invaluable contribution to shaping EPF and his huge contribution in our world.

Contact: Camille Bullot, camille.bullot@eu-patient.eu, +32 (0)2 274 08 61.





Picture credits: Tribute «in memoriam» to Dr. Albert Jovell, http://www.uic.es/en/news?id_noti=3725 (above);Albert Jovell, EPF Library