Important presentations, discussions and interventions marked the annual conference on healthcare policies and economics, «Shaping a healthier Nation, Shaping a healthier Europe», focusing on the economic crisis and its impact on health care delivery. A societal perspective on healthcare policies was strongly presented by the speakers of the 2nd session.

Prof. Mark Lawler, Project Lead, European Cancer Concord (ECC) in his keynote in the 1st part «Strategies and Action Plans” of the 2nd session on “Shaping a Healthier Nation” stressed the need for a National Cancer Plan that will offer better quality of life for cancer survivors and contribute in reducing the cost of cancer care. He presented the three key principles governing the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights and invited the European Parliament Members, candidates in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament and all cancer and healthcare stakeholders to place cancer high on their political agenda and contribute to an EU Cancer Plan to face the challenges of cancer.

Dr. Isabelle Moulon, Head of Department, Patients and Healthcare Professionals, European Medicines Agency (ΕΜΑ), representing EMA for the first time in Greece, referred in the efforts of EMA to include patients in the development and drafting of policies in the EMA procedures. It took many years for patients to convince by their advocacy that they should be accepted. Currently, many representatives of European patient and consumer organizations participate in EMA working groups and committees, in comparison to what was the rule 20-30 years ago. What is asked from patients, is not scientific knowledge but their personal experience with their care and the disease.

Dr. Agis Tsouros, M.D., Ph.D., FFPH Director, Policy and Governance for Health and Well-being (WHO/Europe) pointed out that health and health care are high in the political agenda worldwide. He presented the principles of Health2020 and stressed that if politicians want to think seriously about the development of an integrated healthcare policy, they need to think about a health care policy that starts before birth and have old age as horizon. Healthcare systems need to be sustainable and give a key importance to public health.

You may listen to the presentations by clicking here.