Patients vote for a healthier Europe

Anders Olauson, the President of the European Patients’ Forum, outlines how his organisation is campaigning ahead of the European Parliament elections:

With the European elections approaching fast, European patients are also part of the action.

On 1 October, 2013, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), representing the interests of an estimated 150 million patients with chronic diseases, launched a campaign that aimed to make clear to election candidates what patients throughout the EU need and expect in the upcoming five years.

‘Patients + Participation = Our Vote for a Healthier Europe’ focuses on four main key pillars that will help shape a sustainable, high-quality European healthcare system for all.

First, patients are experts in healthcare by experience. We live with our condition every day and can guide decision-makers on ways to offer better-quality, cost-effective care. Patients engage collectively through patient organisations to be able to play this crucial guidance role.

Second, empowerment starts with tailored, high-quality information to patients and health literacy – helping us to make informed choices about our care. An EU strategy on patient empowerment will allow patients to work in partnership with health professionals to manage conditions, take preventive measures and adhere better to treatment. This collaborative approach will enhance our quality of life and reduce healthcare costs in the long term.

Third, fair and equal access in terms of availability, affordability of high-quality healthcare and non-discrimination in the area of health are also integral.

Fourth, meaningful patient involvement in healthcare research and design helps contribute to new and better treatments with real-life added value for patients, our families and our communities.

Fourth, patients who live daily with chronic conditions in Europe can provide a wealth of untapped knowledge to build better European healthcare system.

On 22-25 May, we will be voting for candidates who commit to include a patients’ perspective in their work.

For more information on the campaign, see the European Patients’ Forum website or contact Cynthia Bonsignore, EPF Communication Officer.

The campaign video was produced with the support of Burson-Marsteller. Burson-Marsteller was involved on a pro-bono basis – along with other agencies and healthcare experts – in the design of the EPF campaign.