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Levels of COPD care can vary from country to country in Europe. Early detection and correct diagnosis is fundamental to guarantee timely diagnosis and effective treatment plans that can help patients to properly manage the disease in their life. Action is crucial given the fact that WHO estimates that COPD will be the 3rd leading cause of death by 2020.

As part of our ongoing action on COPD EFA and its members in Belgium, France, Ireland and Spain have been working on the organisation of stakeholder meetings to advocate at national level for harmonisation of COPD care in member states.

The first of these meetings took place in November and we will continue this activity in early 2016.

On Monday the 30th of November, EFA and Asthma-& Allergiekoepel hosted the Belgian meeting in Brussels. Stakeholders from national and regional health services attended. During the meeting we emphasised the importance of harmonising the three minimum standards of COPD care as identified by the EFA COPD Working Group:

  • Earlier diagnosis, by the inclusion of spirometry in medical check-ups for all those at risk of developing COPD.
  • Multidisciplinary approach, through a close collaboration of all health care professionals involved in COPD management, in order to achieve the best outcome.
  • Rehabilitation, Free of Charge rehabilitation to all COPD patients following a situation of exacerbation regardless of the working progress.

The study “Real world burden of COPD: Employed vs not in paid employment patients” brought the health economics argument to the table, while the findings of EFA’s report “Harmonizing Prevention and other measures for COPD patients across Europe” allowed Asthma & Allergiekoepel to have a clear overview on what still needs to be done in Belgium to achieve a European harmonisation of the minimum standards as identified by EFAs COPD Working Group.

This fruitful meeting was a first step towards the realisation of EFA’s ambition to harmonise these three key minimum standards for COPD care across Europe. A report of this meeting will be published soon.

We will keep you posted on other meetings in Ireland, France and Spain.

Tags: Category: Member news
Country: Europe,Belgium
Disease area: COPD
Theme: Healthcare, - Inequalities, - Reimbursement