The Vilnius Declaration to ensure future sustainable healthcare systems

The major Lithuanian EU Presidency Conference on “Sustainable Health Systems for Inclusive Growth in Europe” took place in Vilnius, on 18-19 November 2013. It leads to urgent call for immediate action to protect Europe’s healthcare systems.EPF President Anders Olauson and EPF board members - Stanimir Hasurdjiev, Chairperson of the National Patients’ Organization (NPO); Vida Augustinienė, President of the Lithuanian Diabetes Association; and Tomasz Szelagowski, general director of the Federation of Polish Patients (FPP), represented EPF at the Vilnius Conference.

Mr Olauson moderated   a specific session exploring the “Effects of health inequalities” and board member Stanimir Hasurdjiev shared with participants the real situation of patients in Bulgaria and also throughout Europe.

The NPO Chairperson highlighted that “There are many patients in EU who need access to quality healthcare urgently. Therefore, European policy makers, member states, healthcare experts, industry and patients organizations need to work in collaboration and partnerships to find solutions that save lives of patients most in need now.”

In the closing session, our President emphasized the important role of patients’ organisations and their involvement in all spheres of decision making in the health system, together with all stakeholders.

The Conference resulted in the Vilnius Declaration described by Commissioner Borg as “a crowning document” of all the work done by the Lithuanian Presidency to ensure healthcare systems are sustainable for the future.

Our President commented “the huge health inequalities faced by patients across the EU are evermore apparent, with unacceptable consequences. The Vilnius Declaration represents a collective commitment to rethink how health systems operate, where patients play a role, through patient empowerment, in delivering high quality sustainable, equitable healthcare.”

He concluded: “We look forward to working with our fellow stakeholders in transforming the Declaration into reality”.

For more information please visit the conference website: