This year, I had the chance to return for the second time as Young Gasteiner to the 18th European Health Forum Gastein. This years’ programme was highly linked to key themes within the EPF work programme and on issues that are important to us as a patient organisation, like inclusiveness, universal access to healthcare and patient empowerment.
What did we discuss?
Access to innovative treatment, patient empowerment, equity and solidarity as well as value of innovation were high on the Gastein agenda. Multimorbidity (the occurrence of two or more chronic conditions in one person) was also the focus of one of the sessions and I was particularly pleased to see that patients with several chronic conditions were invited to share their expertise. I wrote a blog on this session which I invite you to read here.
The refugees’ crisis was also highlighted in one of the session as refugees often arrive sick from their harsh journey, however, they receive scarce support by healthcare services. I was happy to see many NGOs stepping up to this issue, committing to treating this as a health crisis and calling on decision makers in health to play a more prominent role in this issue.
Sharing EPF work with other Gasteiners
My colleague Camille, was also present for the first time at this event. “The Young Gasteiners’ programme brings together two communities who work intensively on changing healthcare policies, but from different perspectives: young researchers and innovators and young policy influencers. I’m glad to say that after a few days spent together, we spoke the same language.” Camille said.
Camille also had the opportunity to present her winning poster on patients’ rights in cross border healthcare and EPF’s work on that topic over the last few years. She explained that “when the Directive on cross-border healthcare came into force in 2013, there were fears that the Directive would lead to a flow of patients traveling across Europe to benefit from healthcare. The objective of my poster was to show there is no such flow of patients so far, and generally, the ones traveling do it because treatment is not available in their home country!”
More information on the outcomes of European Health Policy Forum Gastein here.
Pictures: Laurène Souchet (top), Camille Bullot, presenting her poster (bottom)