Sunday, November 28, 2010

European Strategy for Chronic Conditions – Second Workshop

Average health expenditure in the EU Member States is forecast to nearly double to 16% of GDP by 2020 due, in large part, to the costs of dealing with the impact of chronic conditions. Despite being largely preventable, chronic conditions are the cause of 86% of premature deaths in the WHO European Region and have significant economic implications.

Chronic conditions are not just a health issue – they impact on the workplace, the home environment, social support services and family networks – yet governments for the most part have been slow to integrate policies, inter-departmental budgets and service provision to suit the needs of patients and providers and facilitate the input of community and private expertise.

EPPOSI’s first workshop in 2008 identified the clear need for a Europe-wide strategy to ensure open, equal access to care and treatment for patients with chronic conditions, which is patient-centred and must recognise the often ignored role of carers. Now the challenge is how to turn that into reality.

Even without the ongoing effects of the financial crisis an inexorable rise in expenditure is unsustainable, so how can policy-makers, patients, healthcare providers and insurers, the pharmaceutical industry, social services and employers better work together to reduce the risks of chronic conditions, improve quality of life and confront the economic implications? Complex challenges call for innovative responses: EPPOSI invites all stakeholders to its Second Workshop on Chronic Conditions to help formulate the principal elements of a holistic new model which can actively reduce the debilitating personal and economic burden of chronic conditions. The model will be developed by a Task Force, to be set up after the workshop and based on its outcomes, which can be adapted and implemented in all Member States.