EuropaColon Making Waves
EuropaColon is becoming more active in the policy arena for a number of reasons:
- We are disappointed by the considerable inequalities in cancer care that exist across and between EU Member States, in terms of access to formal population screening, medicines and also latest treatment and care
- Not all Member States have a comprehensive National Cancer Plan setting out the Government’s position on cancer services; without this Plan available, patients will struggle to get the best treatment and care
- Despite the 2003 Commission recommendations on colorectal cancer screening, relatively few Member States have fully set up and are running formal population-based screening programmes. (Formal population screening means officially inviting all eligible citizens to be screened.)
These three points are essential considerations if people are to have access to the best available screening, treatment or care to identify and manage their colorectal cancer. We will campaign to ensure these themes are embraced in all Member States.
Working with our country partners we will extend and strengthen local patient advocacy skills, targeting MPs and MEPs to improve their understanding of local health issues and the inequalities that exist. We will be encouraging our Affiliate and Associate partners to develop close working relationships with MPs in their Country.
Written Declaration on the Fight Against Colorectal Cancer
In December 2010 the EU Parliament adopted a declaration to support the fight against colorectal cancer, signed by a majority of Members of the European Parliament. This Declaration if acted upon has the potential to save many lives.
As stated, colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer deaths in the EU; second only to lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Many of the colorectal cancer deaths occur needlessly, as they could be prevented through screening and early detection.
This Declaration is a “call for action” from the European Parliament to increase pressure on the Commission and the Member States to take action in this important health area. The declaration will act as a platform to assist EuropaColon in making contact with MEPs to support our work across Europe in order to save lives and give citizens of Europe access to the most up to date treatment and care.
EuropaColon will be working closely with our partners in Europe to bring the benefits of screening and early diagnosis to the attention of governments and ministers, to make them aware of the savings, in terms of lives and also cost to the economy, that can be achieved from early diagnosis through formal population screening and effective treatment and care.
The written declaration can be downloaded - www.ecpc-online.org
EuropaColon is a member of the European Patients Forum and endorses the Patient Manifesto. The Manifesto calls for:
- Equal and timely access to safe and effective diagnosis, treatments and support services
- Better information and resources for patients to be effective partners in determining their care
- A patients’ voice that is heard in Brussels and throughout the EU
The full manifesto can be read at: www.eu-patient.eu