Political Hub

Political Hub

2017 has started on a high for EuropaColon with a very generous offer of PR support for the next three years from the Editor and owner of the eureporter – Mr Colin Stevens. His offer to support the work of EuropaColon and to help us raise the profile of digestive cancers is a most welcome contribution to our work. We are most grateful that eureporter have chosen EuropaColon for this partnership.

In a press release announcing this important collaboration, the eureporter said: “We hope to push the work of EuropaColon up the European political agenda so that it can gain the required political support.” They also stressed that health is a personal responsibility and making individuals aware was an important task for us all.

For our part EuropaColon is delighted to work with the eureporter and look forward to a dynamic three years. We believe it offers us a unique opportunity to inform all stakeholders of the importance of digestive cancers.

Commenting on this donation Jola Gore Booth Founder and CEO of EuropaColon emphasised that for change to happen political will is needed!


Latest News from Political Hub

Update news and politics from across Europe updated every week here at our new Political Hub


The European CanCer Organisation, ECCO, recently completed the first of two cancer reviews put together by members from 25 clinical societies in Europe. These publications state the requirements for essential care for colorectal cancer bone Sarcoma. These are not a set of guidelines but instead a complement to existing treatment guidelines that aim to clarify aspects of the pathway for clinicians, laypersons and patients. The report covers the patient pathway from diagnosis to palliative care. The colorectal cancer report can be viewed:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040842816303547

Cost of medicines was one of the chosen topics by the Maltese Government to be looked at during their presidency this year. One of these areas is a recommendation for collaboration between countries in the Mediterranean basin, similar to the one agreed by the Benelux countries a while ago. Also on the table were HTAs, (Health Technology Appraisals) and were subject of a presentation at a meeting of senior health officials in Malta during the Presidency of the EU. Not surprisingly there was call for flexibility when discussing proposals to set up a EU wide system for HTA. The wide range of health systems in the EU require a system that will allow countries to collaborate but also maintain individual differences so that they can maintain their own health systems.

CanCon, as previously stated the Joint Action on Cancer ended with its closing meeting in Malta in February. The document setting out the findings and conclusions can be accessed here.

Also available is link to more information about CanCon. http://www.cancercontrol.eu/who-we-are/


Health System Challenges

The demands placed on EU health systems and discussion about their ability to cope with increasing pressures is an on going topic that repeats every year. 2017 started with some harrowing descriptions of life within UK hospitals, including over crowding, delays in essential treatment and operations. This brought leading institutions such as the Royal College of Physicians to comment that vital services are “struggling or failing to cope” and the Red Cross to conclude that the NHS was suffering a humanitarian crisis.

However, while Brexit remains the main topic of general and political interest it is unlikely that these stories will generate much anti-government feeling. However it does present Mrs May with an opportunity that will be of considerable benefit is she can manage it alongside her other challenges. (Politico 12th January 2017)

In the Republic of Ireland the situation seems to be similarly grave with the Health Minister apologising for failings in the system as 600 patients waited for a hospital bed. The numbers later eased to 190 the Irish Independent reported. Also in January the Irish hospital with the biggest emergency department announced it was cancelling all non-elective surgery. Adding it has experienced a 10% increase in adults attending the emergency department, a large number of these being over 75 years of age. (Politico 9th January 2017)

OECD Meeting of Health Ministers in Paris

In a new report Managing Access, Value and Sustainability, published on January 16, 2017, the OECD. The authors concluded that the proliferation of high-cost medicines and rising drug prices are increasing pressures on public health spending and called into question the pharmaceutical industry’s pricing strategies. The report added that governments need to work with the industry and regulators to define a new approach to the development and use of new health technologies that encourages innovation while also delivering more affordable and value for money treatments.

The report recommended that prices paid for technologies must reflect their real-world health benefits compared to alternatives and be adjusted based on evidence about their actual impact. Payers must be equipped with the necessary powers to adjust prices and withdraw payment for ineffective technologies.

More efforts are also needed to harness the potential of health data more effectively. Use of personal health data creates major opportunities for health system improvement, research and disease surveillance, but requires the right governance frameworks to realise these benefits while managing the privacy risks.


February 2017

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