EFA hands over its Allergy Alert Paper
On the World Asthma Day of May 7, 2013 the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patient’s Associations (EFA) handed over an Allergy Alert Paper to the European Commission and the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament. This paper prepared together with the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) and Allergic Rhinitis and Its Impacts on Asthma (ARIA) requests endorsement of changes to healthcare systems across Europe in order to help patients suffering from allergy to have a proper diagnosis of their disease.
Nowadays, primary care, or general practitioners, are the ones who are seeing allergy patients most routinely. However, they often lack the knowledge in allergy and don’t understand how a proper diagnosis can improve the quality of life of their patients. Despite the fact that allergies affect more than 60 million people in all European countries, there is an alarming deficit and growing disparity in the number of allergists and number of severe allergy patients. In many European countries there are not enough allergists and general practitioners who are able to diagnose the disease at an early stage. This extremely worrisome trend has to be changed.
Representatives of EFA, EEACI and UEMS therefore travelled to Luxemburg to call on policymakers to change the system of Allergology education in Europe. At the meeting with DG SANCO officials (Directorate-General for Health and Consumers), EFA President Breda Flood briefly presented the objectives of the Alert Paper, and Antonella Muraro (EAACI) and Jacques Gayraud (UEMS) added perspectives from their respective organisations. Since Michael Hübel from DG SANCO confirmed his attendance at the EAACI-WAO conference this June in Milan, a reply to the paper from the European Commission is expected to be presented at EFA’s symposium on June 26th from 10h30 – 12h00.
Mr. Hübel informed EFA that DG SANCO is currently working on three packages on chronic diseases and he also pointed out that, first of all, the financial framework of the EU has to be approved before DG SANCO can start working on new packages. According to him, such a project requires support from and involvement of all Member states – otherwise the objective cannot be achieved.
EFA’s Call to Action on respiratory Allergies in Europe
Join EFA and its partners in calling on policymakers to improve healthcare for allergy patients and provide support for medical experts of allergy. If you haven’t done so already, sign EFA’s Call to Action and helps us raise awareness, increase the ability to identify early symptoms and provide early diagnosis. With this initiative we have a chance to change the situation in Europe and set a precedent to follow. EFA would thus like to ask all members to distribute the Call to Action among their national partners and help EFA collect more signatures.
The Call to Action was also promoted at the American Thoracic Society Meeting in Philadelphia which took place from May 17 to May 23 2013. Sign the Call to Action now!