European Parliament Interest Group on Innovation in Health & Social Care meeting

Monday, 8 March 2021

IAPO recently took part in the European Parliament Interest Group webinar on Integration of health and social care to tackle disease outbreaks on 26 January 2021. The meeting intended to gather EU policymakers, academia, and representatives from healthcare associations and patients’ groups to deliberate how to improve European Health Systems to make it truly patient-centred, specifically to strengthen the capability of the Union for prevention and preparedness to tackle future disease outbreaks. The meeting aimed at formulating concrete recommendations to be able to provide meaningful support in the development of the EU4HEALTH programme.

The meeting intended to discuss the following key issues:

  • Fostering the integration of health and social care to improve patient care.
  • Scrutinising the collapse in primary care services for long term conditions, its impact and strategies for reversal.
  • Integrating digital care into the healthcare delivery. The use of digital solutions by doctors and patients should not be an ad hoc pandemic situation – those should remain available beyond the current crisis.
  • Developing mobile care units (workers and equipment) for acute crisis management.

IAPO Board Vice Chair Neda Milevska, was there on behalf of the patients and noted that the current pandemic has shown that health should be a priority and that patients should be at the centre of the health system. She highlighted that primary care services are at the frontline of every long-term condition and need support from the healthcare system and the society at large, including access to digital solutions. She noted the role that patients can play in treating disease outbreaks both as a partner in shared decision-making or as a co-creator in evidence-based solutions as well as a co-designer of holistic public health approaches.

During the discssion that took place, panellists agreed on the following:

- social care is crucial to tackling disease outbreaks.
- when utilising digital tools, data security is also another primordial issue that needs to be looked at carefully.
- further resources should be provided for primary care workers as well as further training for healthcare workers to collaborate internationally; and that
- a multi-faceted approach is needed to put prevention at the centre of European health systems and tackle future disease outbreaks.


Read the event report