The report focuses on two areas: Health promotion and
disease prevention on one hand, and chronic disease management, with a strong
emphasis on the role of patient
empowerment, on the other.
Key points of the report:
- Research: It is important
to note that the report makes special emphasis and constant reference to the
importance of introducing and/or improving cost-effective and innovative
technologies in the treatment, as well as in the prevention, early intervention
and care, of chronic diseases. References are also to the need to take advantage of new technologies in tackling chronic diseases.
- Diagnosis: The report
recognises that early diagnosis and timely intervention are crucial in order to
prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases. Indeed, Member States and
stakeholders have called for concentrate more on targeted screening and early
- Prevention and early
detection: Prevention and strategies to delay the onset of chronic diseases along
the life cycle need to be strengthened, making use of innovative concepts to
avoid or reduce the need for health care interventions. Member States and
stakeholders have also called for a stronger focus on secondary prevention of
Addressing the burden of chronic disease is a central priority for the
European Union and its Member States. The report provides a picture of the
- Prevention: It is particularly relevant for VPH that Member States and the
Commission will look at targeted prevention including new innovative actions in the field of new technologies.
- Health information: Possible establishment of a European health
information research infrastructure consortium (ERIC) tool, designed for
high-profile research infrastructures with a European dimension, to support the
collection and analysis of measurable and comparable health data. It could be
used by Member States, their public health institutes, researchers and experts,
with the support of the Commission and in coordination with OECD and WHO, to
improve the availability and comparability of data and relevant ECHI indicators
on chronic diseases at national and EU level.
- Creation of European Reference Networks within the framework of the Directive on patients'
rights in cross-border healthcare. These Networks will bring together centres
of expertise across the EU with the aim of helping knowledge to move between
health systems, in order to improve diagnosis and treatment. This is also
important for VPH from the perspective of information integration, as the
creation of such a Network will help to put together the available fragmented
- Funding: The report recognizes that there is scope for an improved use of EU
funding to optimise chronic disease management, such as by identifying and
scaling up the use of promising technologies.
- Patient empowerment: DG Health and Consumers is currently considering
setting up a dedicated expert group nominated by Member States, that would
examine the results of the mapping exercise and the EU initiatives and put
forward ideas for policy actions. The Commission is also considering new
initiatives to promote at a European level the exchange of best practices on
patient empowerment, focusing on chronic diseases.
The Council is expected to publish Council conclusions on chronic
diseases at the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.
DG Health and Consumers intends to organise an EU summit on chronic
diseases in 2014. The summit would review action to date and provide a forum
for participants from Member States and stakeholder organisations on future
The Commission is carrying out an additional reflection process on
“modern and sustainable health systems”
A Joint Action on addressing chronic diseases and promoting health
ageing is to be launched in 2014 with a budget of 10 million euro.
The full report is available here.