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!

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Latest News from Political Hub

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

September 2017

Total Diet Replacements the Controversy Continues

The current EU standards for Total Diet Replacements, very low calorie diets (under 800 calories per day) used for weight control in the obese (BMI over 30) have been in place for 30 years and appear to have provided safe standards throughout this period.  The proposed EU changes were criticised in March by the European Very Low Calorie Diet Industry Group.  If the changes are implemented, the product category will likely disappear from the market, as it would no longer be neither feasible or commercially viable for operators to deliver a range of products to the levels of nutrients suggested.

British MEP Julie Girling, the health spokeswoman for the European Conservatives and Reformists in Parliament has campaigned for the changes to not be introduced.  Mrs Girling has said of the proposals

“ … this legislation is ill-considered and could have deeply damaging consequences if it is not reconsidered. It is not putting it too strongly to say this will cost lives.”

September has seen the socialist groupings within the European Parliament oppose Mrs Girling’s resolution to enable the current regulations to remain in force.

August 2017

How Much to Spend on Health?

Per capita health spend in the UK is a subject of constant reproach by opposition parties who rail against the current government. But new data suggests that current spend (public and private) is higher than previously reported.

Spend is traditionally measured as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).  New data, shows that spend was not 8.7% as previously reported (2014), but 9.9%, raising the UK up to 9th position when compared with the rest of Europe. The latest data recently published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the UK1 and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for other countries2, implies that previous figures have underestimated the sums spent in the UK on healthcare.

While this takes the pressure of the government somewhat, it does not suggest that the correct amount of money is necessarily being spent on delivering healthcare in the UK. The new figures include spend, on health related social and long-term care. This was previously not included and accounts for much of the increase.

Promises made to junior doctors, for example, during their dispute last year are still not in place and most hospitals treat them as though they were expendable. Furthermore, the debate continues to rage about the cap on pay increases in the public sector also affecting spend in the long run. If nothing else this latter issue will keep up the pressure on the government.

For the UK to match the EU average spend on healthcare, the government could reduce spend by £2bn. To match spend of Sweden, they would need to increase spend by £24bn which is very unlikely.

  1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthcaresystem/bulletins/ukhealthaccounts/2015#main-points
  2. http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm

July 2017

Value Based Care

Health systems are under threat the world over, with more and more people being diagnosed with diseases that are costly to treat. As a result payers, governments, hospitals etc, are all looking at ways to make sure the money spent has the greatest impact.

One of these routes is value based care. This is a change from the traditional means whereby services have been reimbursed by a single/standard fee, paid when delivering a service or a number of services and has little to do with whether the patients’ health improves.

Value based care is a new approach and offers a possible solution to greater health costs, clinical inefficiency and duplication of services. The aim is to make it easier for people to get and benefit from the care they need. Doctors and health services will be reimbursed for keeping people healthy and for improving the health of people with a chronic disease in a cost-efficient manner.

In the NHS in the UK, a specific department is committed to reducing variation in peoples’ health and to help deliver a sustainable health system, called NHS Rightcare. It is focused on three strategic pillars:

Intelligence - Using data and evidence to highlight variation and identify the areas of greatest opportunity to support quality improvement.

Innovation - Working in partnership with a wide range of organisations, national programmes and patient groups to develop and test new concepts and influence policy.

Implementation - Supporting local health economies to implement sustainable change that improves population health and increases value.

This new approach opens up a number of opportunities for cancer care that EuropaColon has been calling for over the years:

  • It is likely that more governments will subscribe to the need for accurate and linked data registries that will enable them to deliver this new approach ore efficiently. This will bring multiple benefits in helping to understand variations in treatment, care and outcomes across Europe.
  • It will give the patient voice more traction as reported outcomes are seen as a means of validating this payment method and the system delivering the service. PROMS (Patient Reported Outcome Methods) are an important tool to validate the care received.
  • All patients can look forward to a time when more attention is paid to them as individuals rather than being merely a number that requires a specific treatment.
  • Finally it is likely to reduce variations in care as there is more focus on what is happening across all regions within countries.

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February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

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