Report on the EPF Access Campaign Meeting
6 December 2017, Brussels – Belgium
On 6th December 2017 EPF (European Patients Forum) organized at the European Parliament in Brussels a meeting on “Taking Action – A Roadmap to Achieving Universal Health Coverage for All Patients by 2030”. The meeting was the official close of EPF’s campaign on Access to Healthcare, which launched in January 2017. The event hosted by MEP Miriam Dalli (S&D, Malta), with main aim to give the opportunity to present the conclusions of the campaign and the recommendations from EPF’s Roadmap towards achieving Universal Health Coverage for All by 2030.
This roadmap, in line with EPF’s 2017 Campaign on Access to Healthcare, aims to provide EU and national decision makers with recommendations that need to urgently be considered to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all patients in the EU by 2030. It calls on Member States and the EU to commit to a long-term vision where equity of access and UHC is a reality for all – a target of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on ensuring health lives.The Roadmap emphasises the importance and need to establish a transparent, inclusive and collaborative working process for the implementation of UHC and the UN SDGs1.
More than 150 participants from the wide spectrum of stakeholders in the healthcare sector attended the meeting, while AGORA was represented by its Chair, Ms Eva Kritza. The patient’s organization representatives were invited to support the overarching goal of the campaign which is “to contribute to making universal access a reality for EU patients by 2030, through defining and promoting concrete actions, in connect with the health community, to which decision makers need to commit, to ensure we achieve the Health SDGs by 2030”.
The backbone of our campaign covers five action areas that will trigger reflection and induce development of measures, achieving Universal Health Coverage for All by 2030. These include2:
1) Providing Quality of Care across the EU
2) Committing to Sustainable Investment in Health
3) Encouraging Affordability of Healthcare Products and Services
4) Ensuring Access to a Holistic Range of Health and Social Services
5) Ending Discrimination Patients Are Facing in Healthcare
The introduction to the workshop was given by MEP Miriam Dalli (S&D, Malta) and Mr Stanimir Hasardzhiev (EPF Board member and Chair National Patients’Organisation Bulgaria (NPO)), whiles a video concerning the EPF’s Access to Healthcare Campaign, was show to the audience.
Then, the first session began with main topic of discussion “EPF’s Roadmap towards achieving UHC for All Patients by 2030 presented by the Campaign’s Champion MEPs“, where the floor took as following, MEP Miriam Dalli (S&D, Malta), MEP Andrey Kovatchev (EPP, Bulgaria), MEP Kateψina Koneθnα (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic), MEP Paul Rόbig (EPP, Austria) and Lilyana Chavdarova, (Programme and Policy Coordinator, Patient AccessPartnership (PACT)). The speakers had the opportunity to highlight the importance and present the main achievements and goals in each one of the five areas for political actions that the Campaign was focused.
The second session consisted (included) of a panel discussion on the question “In what way is attaining Universal Health Coverage pivotal to the sustainable and successful implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals?”. Moderator of this session was Mr Nicola Bedlington (EPF Secretary General) while the panel composed of Ms Barbara Caracciolo (Steering Committee Member, SDG Watch Europe and Sustainable Development Coordinator, SOLIDAR), MsVanesa Cenjor (Strategic Development Director, RAIS Fundaciσn – Social Innovation for the Homeless), Mr Sylvain Giraud, (Head of Unit, Performance of National Health Systems, DG SANTE, European Commission), Ms Nina Renshaw (Secretary General, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)) and Ms Katharine Wheeler (Vice-chair, Lupus Europe). The panellists had the opportunity to express their views and opinions on this topic and debate with audience in questions that arise.
The meeting ended with the highlights and concluding remarks of the meeting to be presented by Mr Stanimir Hasardzhiev, while the Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, to his speech mentioned that “I am convinced that the EPF’s Roadmap Towards Achieving Universal Health Coverage for All by 2030, which is launched today, will show how convergent our interests are” as well as “Achieving universal healthcare for all is an important, worthy goal, and I look forward to working closely with EPF and other stakeholders to ensure it is realised” 3.