6th European Patients’ Rights Day


Brussels, May 15 2012
6th European Patients’ Rights Day: Active Ageing at the center of EU Health Policy. In Brussels civic organisations and policy makers to boost European elderly citizens participation.

Active Ageing Citizens at the center of EU Health Policy. This is the title of the 6th Patients’ Rights Day, started today in Brussels at EESC, and promoted by Active Citizenship Network (www.activecitizenship.net). The event will end tomorrow with a session hosted by The National Museum of Natural Sciences. News and updates on twitter with #EPRD hashtag and on facebook page.
ACN is a flexible network of European civic organizations based on partnership rather than membership with some 100 citizens’ organizations from 30 European Countries, which are involved as partners in its different projects, addressed to encourage active participation of citizens in European policy-making. ACN was initiated in December 2001 as the European and international interface of the Italian civic participation organization Cittadinanzattiva (Active Citizenship) and mirrors Cittadinanzattiva's Italian policies, such as health, corporate social responsibility, education and training at the global level.

“This year we promoted these days for various and important reasons”, stated Teresa Petrangolini, ACN Director. “First of all to increase awareness and information on the active participation of ageing citizens in the enforcement of their patients’ rights in all EU countries with their double role of  empowered patients and  active citizens who act in the community. Secondly to. demonstrate how the active role of empowered ageing patients/users can contribute to face the challenges resulting from the crisis of the European social and "demographic"model, maintaining the health care universalism. Lastly, to promote the active participation of ageing people in health-care policy and services in order to enhance well-being in old age and avoid that diseases can be cause of their social exclusion”.
This year Conference gathered 40 best practices coming from 18 member states, studied and subdivided in three areas: ageing empowerment on policies; ageing empowerment on communities; individual empowerment.
“One of the characteristic of the European identity is the spread all around EU member states of a social model with high levels of protection enabling the improvement of the quality of life. This means the consequent increase of the average longevity. However, this great success caused severe problems to the entire sustainability process, as numberless of experts and politicians underlined”, said Alessio Terzi, National President of Cittadinanzattiva, and one of the writer of the report, together with the Italian researcher Giulia Savarese.

“Some possible characteristics of a new way of operating in the health service could be: the empowered user (patient centered care); community agents (information and education); seniors networks (communication and monitoring); seniors socializing centers (to decrease solitude and exclusion, and the development of civic participation (to really include active citizenship in planning and implementation of policies.

“National governments must ensure universality of older people rights through a specific commitment that should concern the development of both Europe and local community strategies on ageing. Furthermore, policy makers must consider the aging population not as a burden to bear with the least possible commitment of resources but as a resource for the resumption of growth processes”, concluded Teresa Petrangolini.

This event has been made possible also thanks to an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, Hoffman La-Roche, Lilly, MSD Italia.


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