Latest update (below) 9:50 a.m. ET. I moved the section on cross-border care into another post.
I wish I had three heads to blog and absorb everything going on at the Patients In Power conference, described in my previous post. (I have immense respect for capable journalists!) But, we do what we can.
The current session is on health reforms, including the work to make equal access to care a reality across borders within Europe. The first speaker was Mariano Votta, Director of Active Citizenship Network. From their About page:
ACN’s mission is to promote and support the construction of the European citizenship as an “active citizenship” which means the exercise of citizens’ powers and responsibilities in policy-making.
Hey, that sounds a lot like the Society for Participatory Medicine’s vision of patients as active partners, with power and responsibility! So it’s no surprise that a primary focus of Active Citizenship is Patients’ Rights. And they have a European Charter of Patients’ Rights, created years ago. Until this trip, I’d been unaware of it! Fascinating:
- Right to Preventive Measures
- Right of Access (to needed services)
- Right to information (gimme my damn data, and more – “the right of access to all information regarding their state of health, the health services and how to use them and all that scientific research and technological innovation makes available”)
- Right to consent
- Right to free choice (from among procedures and providers on the basis of adequate info) (Americans, imagine having that in the U.S.!)
- and more… click the image at right to view the full PDF.
They’re really in action, under Mariano’s leadership, making this a reality throughout Europe. The charter, as a leaflet and as a poster, is available in many languages here.
And “throughout Europe” is not just the European Union – it’s all of what’s known as “the new Europe.” For instance, Hungary is included, where I spoke Tuesday, even though they’re not part of the EU.
p.s. Votta closed by noting the upcoming eighth annual European Patients’ Rights Day in Brussels, next April.