In December 2013, the European Commission launched a public consultation on patient safety and quality of care in the EU, which ran until the end of February 2014. As Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health, EPHA contributed to this consultation and provided the Commission with the online questionnaire and a letter.
The consultation was aimed at seeking the opinion of civil society on:
In its response, EPHA emphasises that the economic crisis has highly impacted the public health sector. Budget cuts and financial constraints are barriers that prevent the 2009 Recommendation to be fully implemented, which is something EPHA cannot accept. Providing necessary resources (human, financial and technological) in order to ensure high quality and effective healthcare is essential.
In addition, EPHA advocates for further and better controlled use of eHealth and mHealth, as these are solutions which can benefit patient safety. In this framework, data protection rules must also be defined in a clear and unambiguous way.
EPHA also invites the Commission to look more closely at health professionals, in terms of their well-being, as well as their education and training on patient safety, as they are the people who provide frontline care. In particular, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of the health workforce should not be endangered by time constraints.
Classifying and measuring patient safety at Community level was an element raised in the 2009 Recommendation. EPHA strongly encourages all initiatives that deepen the harmonisation of healthcare classifications and improve data collection systems. As regards patients, EPHA stresses that their voices must be heard and that they must be treated with respect and dignity, which includes access to appropriate nutrition and hydration.
Finally, addressing health threats is essential. From EPHA’s perspective, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) must be taken seriously. Moreover, disregarding good quality mental healthcare and long-term care can undermine the health of all people living in Europe.
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