Active Citizenship Network celebrated the 6th European Patients' Rights Day in Brussels, with a conference entitled "Active Ageing citizens at the center of EU health policy", last 15th and 16th of May 2012. The conference was fully focused on the European topic of the year “Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations”. Insofar as the number of ageing citizens is rapidly increasing (Europeans aged 65+ is expected to increase by 45% between 2008 and 2030, and even further to over 30% of the population by 2060) the issues of their access to health care services and the respect of their rights as patients are becoming central and extremely challenging.

The objective of the conference was thus to demonstrate that part of the solution resides in a change of perspective vis-à-vis ageing citizens, from weak patients into "empowered users" of health care services, able to contribute to a better implementation of their rights. Best practices on Active Ageing citizens in health policies have been presented and discussed. The BP  focused on what healthcare services, civic associations and governments are doing in this area to reveal the concrete benefits of this approach.

The conference in numbers:
120 Participants from 21 Countries; 45 national and European Patients’ Associations; 3 European Institutions: EU Commission, EP, EESC; 26 speakers; 2 sessions; 1 roundtable discussion; 3 workshops to share ideas and produce recommendations; 40 NGOs best practices collected in a report 10 examples of NGOs’ best practices presented during the plenary session. 13 Recommendations produced on active participation of ageing people. 3 Social Networks (ACN Facebook, Twitter, Scribd) described live all the conference.

All the posts, tweets and material we presented during the event, including presentations and interviews are available here

The Survey on best practices of Active Ageing
40 best practices coming from 18 member states were collected, studied and subdivided into three areas which represented the three conference workshops titles:
1.  The public policies for the active involvement of ageing citizens in health policy and in the health care structures.
2.  The involvement of ageing citizens in the community and civic organizations dealing with health.
3.  The initiatives aimed at empowering ageing patients and involving them in managing their diseases.
The BP report “Active  ageing into practice! Experiences of civic engagement in health policies” is available on the following link

The main outcome of the conference has consisted on the contributing to the empowerment and active participation of ageing citizens thanks to the production and the dissemination of 13 Recommendations.

“Now it’s the time for the active citizenship!”
Each participant has been asked to take a concrete commitment to implement one or two recommendations.
We have to work in our own Countries, in order to implement actions and activities, promote advocacy, stimulate governments.

ACN will contact the participating stakeholders to follow step by step the dissemination of the recommendations’ and their impact by monitoring every 3 months what it has been done to put into practice their commitments.
All the activities will be published on ACN website.

Under the patronage of:

  • European Parliament
  • European Economic and Social Committee
  • Mr. John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy

With the support of:
European Union - Public Health Programme
Alliance of Liberals and democrats for Europe
European Economic and Social Committee
Astra Zeneca
Hoffmann-La Roche
MSD Italia 

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