What our role means for the Finnish patient?EPF Vice President Susanna Palkonen attended the Patient Advocacy Leaders’ Summit in Finland on 28 November 2012. She gave a snapshot of the rationale of having an umbrella group of patients and being part of the EPF patient community influencing EU health policy.
"The European Patient - who are we, what is our role and what does it mean for the Finnish patient?” This was the focus of Susanna Palkonen’s presentation at the Summit. She reminded that EPF was set up to make the patients’ voice heard in Europe: “Patients move form passive recipients of healthcare to informed and engaged actors. We needed for a united patients’ voice on the wide range of issues affecting all patients to work effectively with EU institutions”.
The added values for national coalitions to be part of EPF are:
- They can bring to the fore national concerns and priorities with an EU dimension
- They can implement the advances made at EU level in a national context with EPF support
- They can be involved in EU level projects of key relevance at national level
- They can exchange experiences and good practice
- They can participate in capacity building programme
Discussions focussed on the state of play of the plans of overhauling the Finish reimbursement system, including extending the role of co-payments. Lively discussion followed on both topics by the 9 patient representatives present.
Plans by the Finnish government should be presented in early February and the strong patients’ perspective in the process will be critical.
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