XIII EUROPEAN PATIENTS’ RIGHTS DAY 2019 9 April 2019, European Parliament

Delivering patient value throughout the healthcare system: a debate on citizens' expectations

The civic society and patients’ advocacy groups committed to improve health and well-being across Europe are aware that the political context following the upcoming European elections could be characterized by less or no significant EU action on health. This is not how it should be. Citizens and patients are political actors who understand and recognize the advantages of having a strong and harmonized European health policy.

After the European election Active Citizenship Network (ACN) will continue to advocate on and influence health political priorities and to increase the cooperation among the EU Institutions, citizens and patient organizations. For this reason, we encourage the new EU Parliament to provide continuity promoting a new MEPs Interest Group on patients’ rights following the successful experience of the one launched by ACN in 2015.

This is, in synthesis, the main message coming from the first event of the 13th edition of the European Patients’ Rights Day, held at the European Parliament in Brussels today, and organized by Active Citizenship Network, the European Branch of the Italian NGO Cittadinanzattiva.

The event was co-hosted by MEPs Brando Benifei and Elena Gentile, and it was realized thanks to the support of: MSD, Boehringer Ingelheim, Copma, Kyowa Kirin, UCB.

In these days a large number of Europeans believe the EU is heading in the wrong direction, but we hope to convert that dissatisfaction into democratic zeal rather than political apathy. For this reason, we transformed the Brussels event of the European Patients' Rights Day in a debate on citizens’ expectations about health issues, to ask to candidate MEPs to share their opinions on the challenges for Health in the EU 2019 -2024.

The topic of health has not appeared in the pre-electoral debate, despite the civil society, patient advocacy groups, professionals and numerous stakeholders engaged in the field, have long been disseminating a series of manifestos (to which, in some cases, Active Citizenship Network has even contributed) focused on the future of the European Health Agenda. It is therefore paradoxical that these demands have not received adequate attention from official policy. This is a further reason to encourage opportunities for discussion and dialogue, such as the one of today, between those who care about health as a common good and those who will be called upon, if elected, to take decisions for millions of Europeans.

The 2019 conference titled “Delivering patient value throughout the healthcare system” is characterized by a twofold structure: the today event focused on A Debate on citizens' expectations” and tomorrow’s event (April 10th, 10:00 – 12:30) focused on “Digital Health and Personalized Medicine”.

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