The EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides held a virtual meeting with European Patients Forum (EPF) and discussed challenges faced by patients during COVID19. The Commissioner reiterated that no chronic patients should be left behind and patients need to be at the centre of the decision-making process.
During the meeting, the Commissioner highlighted the initiatives taken by the Commission to respond to the pandemic, which includes weekly calls with national ministries of health, sharing guidelines and coordinating joint procurements of protective gear and ventilators.
EPF President, Mr. Marco Greco stressed upon the fact that there was lack of patient involvement in COVID19 decision-making processes. Furthermore, he mentioned the key focus areas where EPF has been targeting their work, namely ensuring continuedaccess to timely treatment and care and the involvement of patients in strategies for deconfinement. Mr. Greco also provided details and update on EPF’s presence and actions since the beginning of the pandemic.
Furthermore, the EPF outlined the main challenges for patients with chronic conditions, such as treatment delay, discontinuation, general lack of clarity or appropriate guidance, and the strong need for enhanced European collaboration for strengthening health systems with patients’ involvement in developing solutions.
In his concluding statement, Mr. Marco said that “the pandemic has shown the weak point of our health systems but also their potential. We must not be discouraged and seize the opportunity to keep fighting by putting our strengths together.