18 December 2019
Asthma , COPD, Allergy, Food Allergy, Other Diseases

For the very first time, the European Patient Forum (EPF) organised a Congress on meaningful patient involvement. Between Tuesday 12th and Thursday 14th, 300 delegates, including patient advocates, healthcare professionals, health NGOs, academics, members from industry and national institutions, gathered in Brussels for 3 days of inspiring speeches, panel discussions and workshops in order to truly move on patient involvement.

Involving patients in health systems

Kicked off by a hackathon on enabling patient involvement by balancing ethical considerations, the Fongress gave the opportunity to hear about patients’ experiences on living with their diseases, teaching in medical schools, advances in research with the input of patient groups, as well as perspectives from regulators, academics, members of industry, national governments, health NGOs and EU institutions. Every part of the programme focused on how we can systematically integrate the involvement of patients in our health systems.

Encouraging words from Vytenis Andriukaitis

Encouraging words came from former Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, who stressed on the important initiatives and profitable collaboration between the European Commission and the European Patients Forum in the past five years.

Yet EPF is looking to the future, as demonstrated by the roleplays sessions organised by the EPF Youth Group and the closing session were all delegates were asked to write on their vision for the future of patient involvement.

“Nothing must be for the patients without the patients”, concluded the EPF President Marco Greco. The patient community has worked hard to make this simple idea understood, and now it’s time to put this into practice, everywhere and for every patient.

EFA’s Susanna Palkonen had the role of a jury member for the Hackathon, and in her role as Chair of the Patient Access Partnership, she interviewed the OECD on their increasing work on patient-centered healthcare systems, and putting measures for that in place.

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The EFA Team