Co-funded by the European Union, in the framework of the Health Programme (2008-2013)

Active Citizenship Network celebrated the 5th European Patients' Rights Day in Brussels with a 2-days conference entitled: "Putting Citizens at the centre of EU Health Policy". The first day was focused on "Engaging citizens and Patients in Health Policy: good practices from around Europe", with the presentation of the report "The European Charter of patients' rights, a civic assessment."

The second day was dedicated to "The new Directive on Cross border health care and Patients' rights".

The assessment Report presented during the first day showed that the more infringed rights were the same three of the last survey, that is patients’ time, free choice, and access to care. Worrying situations were also found in matter of unnecessary suffering and pain. The Conference was an opportunity to promote and present Good Practices for “Engaging citizens and patients in health policies”, and, for the first time, it was established “The Best Practice on civic participation award”.

The presence and the remarks of John Dalli, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumers, were particularly important for the success of the Conference. During his speech, he declared: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to European patients, to the organisations who represent them, and in particular to Active Citizenship Network; I applaud citizens' organisations for maximising these rights with the report launched today and with their tireless work. The principles I have just mentioned are reflected in the newly adopted ‘Directive on Patients' rights in Cross-border Healthcare’. As its very title suggests, this Directive aims to put patients at the centre of EU action”.

The latter, that is the ‘Directive on Cross-border Healthcare and Patients’ Rights’, was the main goal of the second day of the Conference. The discussion was carried out by MEP Antonya Parvanova, Anita Waldmann for Myeloma Euronet AISBI, and Giovanna Giacomuzzi for Pharmaceutical Group of European Union. Every speaker presented the positive impact of the new Directive on patients, which for the first time declares and fortifies the importance of citizens’ rights in EU health services. Parvanova, in particular, summarized the wide meaning of the new Directive: "Reaching an agreement on the ‘Directive on Patients' Rights in Cross-border Healthcare’ was not an easy task, but at least we have here a first step and a legal framework to go for more rights for patients in Europe. Let's not forget however that patients should have rights not only when they cross a border! It is crucial that we continue advocating for an equal access to safe and quality care for all in Europe”.


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