05 July 2016
- Healthcare, - Medicines

In the framework of the Patient Empowerment campaign, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) has launched the European Patient Charter and a Roadmap for patient empowerment. EFA, as full Member and Board Member of EPF, has participated in the development of both documents, a work lead by the Empowerment WG of which we are also active members.

Both publications were presented at the Patient Empowerment campaign closing event at the European Parliament. Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, encouraged national health-systems to “shift from organisation-centered to patient-centered health systems”. Members of the European Parliament such as Karin Kadenbach (Austria, S&D) and Andrey Kovatchev (Bulgaria, EPP) stressed the importance of guaranteeing equal access to healthcare systems to all EU citizens and to pursue a common health policy.

Empowerment can help people gain control over their own lives. To make empowerment a reality, the European patient community has identified five actions to summarise how patients can drive their lives: Education, Experience, Engagement, Equality and Expertise, which can help all to develop sustainable health systems.

The Patient Charter is composed of 10 points recognizing the humanity of patients, and not just their disease, and how they should be involved and supported to get the best outcomes of healthcare and treatment. 

  1. I am more than my health condition
  2. I am empowered to the extent I wish to be
  3. I am an equal partner in all decisions related to my health
  4. I have the information I need in an easily understandable format, including my own health records
  5. My health professionals and our health system actively promote health literacy for all
  6. I have the ongoing support I need to manage my own care
  7. My experience is a vital measure of healthcare quality
  8. I can participate in evaluating and co-designing healthcare services so they work better for everyone
  9. Through patient organisations, my voice becomes part of a bigger, united voice
  10. Equity and empowerment go hand-in-hand - I want a fair deal for all patients

During the event, Sevala Malkic from European Commission Directorate-General for Health explained how important it is to increase patient involvement in the field of mHealth and eHealth. In this sense, EFA is working on development of a monitoring asthma device within the project myAirCoach.

With technology at the service to health, patients will be able to manage their health more accurately. According to Annabel Seebohm, who brought the doctors voice to the debate, technology can bridge the gap on the insufficient number of hours dedicated for patient care.

We are happy that all panellists in the event agreed on the need to move forward towards a more concerted approach to make patient empowerment a reality at the EU and national level.

To know more about the event, please visit EPF website

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