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Monthly Newsletter edited by Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network
Civic Activism | Patients' Rights | Consumers' Rights | Support ACN

Year 4th, number 37 - March 2016





“Chronic pain, from the European political agenda to the EU culture”
As all of us well remember, during the Informal Meeting of European Health Ministries, held on 22-23 September 2014 in Milan, Ministers from the 28 EU member states reached a common position on the need of building a European network ensuring training of health professionals and of exchanging information on the effectiveness of therapies for the weakest population groups.
In general, the inclusion of the issue of chronic pain in the European political agenda was certainly gratifying for those who have worked to achieve this important result, but what about  the next steps?  Our commitment could be to transfer this achievement from the European agenda into the European culture: to raise awareness, fight stigma, improve quality of life for people suffering for acute and severe chronic pain, reduce the socio-economic impact of chronic pain in Europe by ensuring that the right to avoid unnecessary suffering is guaranteed everywhere and to everyone.
At present, unfortunately, the situation is still not positive, as the Survey carried out in 18 countries by Active Citizenship Network and Pain Alliance Europe in 2013 and 2014 has highlighted. Therefore, it is time to join forces and work as a team. Speaking of which, however, we can see encouraging signals at national and EU level  in the past few years. Read more

Antonio Gaudioso, Secretary General of Cittadinanzattiva Onlus


Civic Prize on Chronic Pain:  tell us about your way of working with chronic pain and win!
Active Citizenship Network is launching the project ”EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - Collecting good practices”. The aim is to give evidence of existing good practices in  European countries in terms of struggle against pain. It is an occasion for demonstrating what this community can offer in terms of experiences which are useful in raising awareness about the condition, enhancing the body of knowledge of positive cases and success, and strengthening commitment to this topic. Join the competition of this initiative by completing this brief on-line line Form. A Jury, composed of international experts in chronic pain (from universities, healthcare professionals and providers’ organizations, civic and patients’ associations, etc.) will choose the winners. They will be given an expenses-paid visit to another winner and a publication in English in a suitable journal. Read this brief guide before to fill in the Form and participate


April 6th Brussels (Belgium): Pain therapy and the degree of the patient’s pain in the age of Cross-Border Healthcare
The event aims to underline how protection of patients seeking care abroad is also related to an effective implementation of those aspects of the Directive that may be seen of little importance, such as, for example, the reference to pain intensity. Pain intensity is not a secondary issue at all; it can facilitate the building of a European network of specialised centres or centres of excellence on pain therapy, which may host patients from other countries, in accordance with the hopes revealed during the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in the second half of 2014.
The meeting will be hosted at the EU Parliament by the MEP Patrizia TOIA (Italy), one of the supporter of the EU Parliamentary Interest Group "European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare".
With this initiative, we intend to open a debate on the topic based on case histories, experiences, good practices and issues faced in the EU member states. Read more. Contact us on brussel@activecitizenship.net to participate.

May 5-8 Island of Menorca (Spain): Sine Dolore World Park
Pain Meeting is a multidisciplinary international event that year by year gives professionals in the field of pain treatment the opportunity to meet new treatments and advances in the field.
Doctors and specialists from around the world will take part in the presentations and panel discussions of this forum, where latest techniques and innovative experiences in the treatment of pain will be presented. Pain is a condition that affects 20% of the population, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In recent decades, the progressive aging of the population has become a challenge for medical institutions, since it requires the development of new therapies for the treatment of painful conditions such as arthritis, back pain, cervical pain, headache, neuralgia and painful scars.
The director of Active Citizenship Network will participate as panelist. Read more

May 23-24 Brussels (Belgium): “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) 2016 “Time for action”
The 6th event of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) will address anyone involved in pain policy e.g. healthcare professionals, politicians, representatives of pain advocacy groups, insurances, health authorities, regulators and budget holders. Four are the topics for discussion: Pain as a quality indicator for health care; Chronic Pain: a disease or multi-morbidity?; The relevance of pain in cancer care and rehabilitation; Pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the working force. The scientific framework of SIP platform is under the responsibility of the European Pain Federation EFIC. Cooperation partners for SIP 2016 are Pain Alliance Europe and Active Citizenship Network. The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is responsible for funding and nonfinancial support (e.g. logistical support). You can find more information under Events / SIP 2016. Please register by using this link. After receipt of application for registration you will be notified on the status of your registration. For further information please visit the SIP website.

Patients' Rights

Active Citizenship Network involved in two EU Committees dealing with pain
On September 2015, the European Pain Federation (EFIC) invited for the first time civic and patients organizations dealing with chronic pain and the respect of patients' rights against unnecessary and useless pain in its permanent Patient Liaison Committee. The same strategic decision was also taken last December 2015 by the “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP), which has officially included in its Steering Committee the citizens and patients’ points of views. The President of Pain Alliance Europe and the Director of Active Citizenship Network were both glad to join these Committees.


Management of Postoperative Pain: a Clinical Practice Guideline
Most patients who undergo surgical procedures experience acute postoperative pain, but evidence suggests that less than half report adequate postoperative pain relief. Many preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative interventions and management strategies are available for reducing and managing postoperative pain. The American Pain Society, with input from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, commissioned an interdisciplinary expert panel to develop a clinical practice guideline to promote evidence-based, effective, and safer postoperative pain management in children and adults. The guideline was subsequently approved by the American Society for Regional Anesthesia.  Read more

Italy: post-surgery pain, just 10% of patients is treated accordingly
Just half of a representative sample of Italian hospitals provides treatment for post-surgery pain following the guidelines of Siaarti ( Italian Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Reanimation and Intensive care), while only 10% of the patients have actually received treatment for post-surgery pain in accordance with those guidelines. These data come out of two surveys conducted by Siaarti in 2006 and 2012 on a sample of more than 40% Italian public hospitals, which have been recently published on the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. Read more (IT language)

Italian hospitals: civic audit about treatment and attention to pain
The Project “In-dolore 2014”, unconditionally supported by Grunenthal, is a pilot audit promoted by the Tribunal for Patients’ rights (which is the health network of Cittadinanzattiva at national level) and realized in collaboration with the Civic Evaluation Agency to monitor citizens’ perspectives about treatment and attention to pain as well as the presence of fundamental services, features and best practices in the Italian hospitals. Goals of the project are: build a network and promote centres of excellence, draw attention on the topic and encourage a healthy competition among healthcare providers to improve pain treatment on the basis of citizens’ needs. Indeed, the project has informed citizens about attention to pain provided by 46 Hospitals that have voluntarily submitted to: detailed data are available online. 214 wards have been monitored and 711 patients have been interviewed, thanks to the help of our volunteers. Data have been collected through two main tools: a checklist containing 50 items and a questionnaire addressed to patients of 5 key wards. Methodology and results of the project will be officially presented at the European Parliament in April and May. Read more (IT language).

Pain Therapy & Palliative Care: Cittadinanzattiva in the technical committee of the Italian Ministry of Health
In Italy there is still much work to do about pain treatment, considering that 16% of patients who complain about pain are not believed or have to see their problem diminished.
For this reason, there is a section of the Technical Committee on Health of the Ministry of Health devoted to this matter, that is an organization bringing together 204 experts for advice and support in policies covering different areas of health and science. One section in particular will focus on palliative care and pain management and the member who will represent the citizens' associations is the national coordinator of the Tribunal for Patients' Rights of Cittadinanzattiva. Read more (IT language)

ACN reelected in the Board of Pain Alliance Europe
The Director of Active Citizenship Network has been unanimously reelected in the Board Member of PAE-Pain Alliance Europe during the General Assembly of PAE celebrated last February 23rd in Bruxelles. Together with him, Maria Soledad Garcia Penalta, from Spain, has been reelected. To know more about PAE, click here


April 20-22 Nicosia (Cyprus): A local and Regional Vision of Europe 2030
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions Congress 2016 will take place in Cyprus. The CEMR is the largest organisation of local and regional governments in Europe. Its members are 60 associations of local governments from 41 countries. These associations all together represent more than 150.000 municipalities, cities and regions. Read more

May 4th, Brussels (Belgium): European Patients' Rights Day 2016
Active Citizenship Network has decided to dedicate the celebration of the 10th Anniversary  of the European Patients’ Rights Day to the issue of “Reducing waste and inefficiency in the Healthcare Systems, increasing quality of patient care”. The European multi­ stakeholder conference will be held at the European Parliament in Brussels with the aims to increase the culture of common goods and to fight any form of waste, fostering the cooperation among different stakeholders, public and private, civic and institutional to find useful solutions. Read more and join the conference!


Director and Editor in chief: Mariano Votta
Editors: Daniela Quaggia & Sonia Belfiore
Coordination and Production: Giacomo D'Orazio 

To contribute, plase write to: mail@activecitizenship.net

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