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04 December 2023
CARE, - Quality of Life

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EFA co-authors the recommendations of the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) new report on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD). EFA Director Susanna Palkonen spoke at the PHSSR event at the European Parliament dedicated to the launch of the report, stressing the perspective of respiratory diseases patients and the importance of addressing lung health at the European level.

In November, EFA Director Susanna Palkonen took part in the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event  “A stitch in time: Early intervention to tackle Europe’s NCD crisis – Expert recommendations for sustainable and resilient health systems” was hosted by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Dr Tomislav Sokol (EPP, Croatia), and offered an opportunity to highlight the current place that lung and allergy health have on EU policies. 


The event was dedicated to the launch of a new report by the PHSSR EU Expert Advisory Group which provides with timely policy recommendations for the EU on improving prevention and early detection of non-communicable diseases – a major health challenge in the EU. 

The report was developed with recommendations from the EU Expert Advisory Group of the PHSSR, composed of leading experts in health policy in Europe, including policymakers, academics, clinicians, economists, and patient representatives, including EFA. 

The expert panelists presented key recommendations to the EU institutions on improving the legal and operational ecosystem for NCDs, outlining the following points:

  • Improvement of the availability and accuracy of data on NCDs
  • Evidence generation and evaluation of interventions 
  • Action on environmental sustainability to reduce the burden of NCDs
  • Health system governance to support NCD prevention and early detection
  • Implementation of innovative technologies and digital solutions
  • An EU healthcare workforce and innovation strategy 
  • Investment in prevention and early detection of NCDs 

During the event, EFA’s Susanna Palkonen put forward the perspective of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, shedding light on the importance of addressing lung health holistically to remove policy fragmentation, while encouraging early diagnosis, prevention, and patient-centric research for better lung health at the European level. With air pollution being the main environmental risk factor for human health, causing respiratory diseases and deaths for many years now, Palkonen also highlighted the absolute need for a safer air quality framework to address NCDs across the Union. Palkonen also moderated the Q&A session of the event. 

You can find the full recording of the event here, and the ‘A Stitch in Time: Early Intervention to Tackle Europe’s NCD Crisis: EU policy solutions towards more sustainable and resilient health systems’ report here.