18th of April occurs the European Patients' Rights Day.
After many years, the reasons that led us to establish it in 2007 and to encourage its celebration throughout Europe year after year are more current than ever.
The dramatic situation who we are living is showing once again the relevance to improve the enforceability, the implementation of patients' rights in Europe and in each Member State to reduce health inequalities.
Although the official celebration at European level (scheduled for May 5 in the European Parliament), will be postponed, in the midst of the pandemic of COVID-19, this anniversary has a particular meaning.
The reasons – among others - are that:
- This pandemic remembers to all of us the widespread responsibility of the long-term weakening of national health systems, I can say it with certainty as regards my country, Italy.
- At the same time, it allows us to rediscover the professional and social value of health workers, to whom it goes our eternal thanks for their sacrifice today, and an adequate recognition tomorrow.
- Once again, it lets us recognize the importance of the health of all of us European citizens and the public health system as a common good. These values involve all the citizens as a whole.
- This pandemic confronts us with the image of a European Union pervaded by national egoisms rather than widespread solidarity, highlighting the difficulty of the European Institutions to make rapid and effective decisions for a common strategy of contrast and reaction to the pandemic.
With this message, today, on the occasion of the 14th Edition of the EPRD, Active Citizenship Network, the EU branch of Cittadinanzattiva, wants to communicate a thought and an appeal.
Our thoughts go to the victims - in Europe and around the world - of the pandemic, to the families who cry, as well as to all patients, starting with those who are fighting COVID-19.
The appeal is addressed to the European Institutions so that the next Conference on the future of Europe focuses also on the theme of health. From how important will be the topic of health in the European political debate, we will understand if effectively "All policies for a healthy Europe" is only a claim or it is the direction taken by the European institutions and the kaleidoscope with which we’ll evaluate their work.
Mariano Votta, Director, Active Citizenship Network