November 2016 – New Campaign on Access, A Priority for European Patients


Access to healthcare and social services has been a major policy priority for EPF in 2016. From positions papers to consultations with members, our tireless work will continue next year with the EPF Campaign on Universal Health Coverage.

Access is a long standing priority for EPF and its membership, and is at the heart of the vision of the organisation. The last twelve months offered many opportunities for EPF to reaffirm its prime position in this crucial debate for patients in Europe.

In March, we published our Position Paper on Access from the Patients’ Perspective. This statement presents the definition and measurement of Access to healthcare from the perspective of the patients. The paper details our 9 key recommendations for indicators for access to healthcare, underlining our vision that all patients with chronic and/or lifelong conditions in the EU have access to high quality, patient-centred equitable health and social care.

In June, our Secretary General Nicola Bedlington co-chaired the second session of the European Parliament Interest Group on Access to Healthcare, together with the Patient Access Partnership (PACT). The meeting gathered supporting MEPs Karin Kadenbach (S&D, Austria), Andrey Kovatchev (EPP, Bulgaria) and Katerina Konecna (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic) and representatives of the European Commission and the Dutch Ministry of Health. We heard an intervention by MEP Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (S&D, Spain) rapporteur of the European Parliament own initiative (INI) report on Access to Medicines.

EPF, in collaboration with its membership proposed key recommendations on the report before its vote at plenary. Our suggestions aimed at ensuring that the report is framed with the needs of patients and patient access at the centre, rather than industry needs and market access. EPF also advocated continued EU cooperation on Health Technology Assessment, and to ensure that the patients’ perspective is incorporated in health technology assessment.

Finally, the last months of 2016 were busy with the preparatory work of our next campaign on Universal Health Coverage, to be officially launched in 2017! The campaign approach will be in line with the health targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aiming to achieve universal health coverage for all by 2030. 

The campaign will work on the global interpretation proposed by the UN SDG, addressing topics such as quality of care; sustainable investment in health; affordability of healthcare products and services; access to a holistic range of services; and ending discrimination.

In concert with the health community, we will define and promote concrete actions for decision makers to commit to in these dedicated areas. And we will work with the PACT partners to cascade our campaign to different stakeholders.

Get ready for some interesting and participative work on access next year, stay tuned! #Access2030.



Katie Gallagher, Policy Adviser

Laurent Louette, Communications Officer