Political Hub

Political Hub

2017 has started on a high for EuropaColon with a very generous offer of PR support for the next three years from the Editor and owner of the eureporter – Mr Colin Stevens. His offer to support the work of EuropaColon and to help us raise the profile of digestive cancers is a most welcome contribution to our work. We are most grateful that eureporter have chosen EuropaColon for this partnership.

In a press release announcing this important collaboration, the eureporter said: “We hope to push the work of EuropaColon up the European political agenda so that it can gain the required political support.” They also stressed that health is a personal responsibility and making individuals aware was an important task for us all.

For our part EuropaColon is delighted to work with the eureporter and look forward to a dynamic three years. We believe it offers us a unique opportunity to inform all stakeholders of the importance of digestive cancers.

Commenting on this donation Jola Gore Booth Founder and CEO of EuropaColon emphasised that for change to happen political will is needed!

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Latest News from Political Hub

Update news and politics from across Europe updated every week here at our new Political Hub

March 2018

Money makes the world go round

Faced with financial pressures on all sides it comes as no surprise that the NHS in the UK is in need of funds and is showing signs of cracking. We are in many ways fortunate in this country that the press enables us to have such an open debate about this topic.

It is often the press that drives these discussions further by highlighting the promise and exposing the failings of local hospitals and the NHS in general. Working with examples of patients who are facing the waiting times or having faced ineffective or bad treatment. For this we are all grateful.

As the talks for Brexit continue it becomes increasingly clear that in addition to unexpected costs faced if and when the UK leaves the Union, there will be other costs back at home that will also need to be faced. The NHS is certainly one of them.

A dedicated tax has long been a topic for discussion in the media and it looks like some of the hard to break MPs have decided that enough is enough and their backing might open this very difficult door. The question we need to ask is when will enough money be enough. It is no secret that a more efficient system is one that is not too flush with cash for this allows money to be wasted. It’s a fine line between adding money and giving too much.

The big questions is that biting this difficult bullet will have potentially huge political consequences and it will be interesting to see if Mrs May can ride this wave.

Is it money or control?

This is the question that spins in my head when I think about why there is no head competency in the EU. Did countries want to maintain control over their health systems because it gave them authority over spending or because it was such an important issue that local autonomy was needed. Today the debate rages in Brussels about the future of the Health Department, DG Sante, as a cabinet position within the Commission.

Its is no secret that the president of the Commission Junker, seems to think that everyone is as healthy as he and will never need health care cover to make sure that they complete their day job. Every document he has published or comment he has made during his presidency suggests that he has little respect for health and has focused on business

Sadly as we know people are not machines and even machines need maintenances. It begs the question if he has got it right – a new arm for Europe or better health care for the citizens?

Naughty NICE

The UK’S health regulating body, NICE – The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence denied access to the cystic fibrosis medicine Orkambi in 2016.

NICE ruled that the benefits were not sufficient to justify the high cost of the medicine.

Undaunted by this rejection, advocates arranged a petition calling for access to be made available and have collected over 100,000 signatures. A debate will take place in the UK Parliament to consider Briton’s access to this medicine. Collecting this many signatures automatically leads to a topic being discussed by the Parliament.

Access to the medicine has been agreed in a number of countries recently, Ireland and Netherlands have arranged terms with the manufacturer Vertex and patients now have access to this expensive treatment.

February 2018

Money Money Money

Money for health is being highlighted in discussions this week between t he Commission and the Parliament. The ENVI (Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee) will discuss the future of the EU Health funding program.

The budget for the next seven year period is being prepared in advance of elections in 2019 for the Parliament and Commission. The budget discussion this year will be very important because of the potential hole that is being created as the UK prepares to leave the Commission.

Consequently the Commission is looking at ways to keep the peace but also make sure there is money to fund those items that are in the sight lines of the Committee. The Commissioner is suggesting that a more flexible approach needs to be adopted ensuring that each area receives the support it needs but with less focus on specific individual programs. Commissioner Andriukaitis is calling for an European Crisis Reserve Fund that will allow the Commission to respond when there are hot points needing attention, especially in public health and food. It would appear that he is hoping to secure funding across all headings of the new budget but possibly not being specific about their allocation.

This could be good news or bad news for health, we will have to see. Without specific headings health could be side lined as it has been in policy terms over the past years. Advocates and interested parties will need to remain vigilant as the details start to come through.

January 2018

Careful with your drinks

Recent research has shown that the anecdotal views of clinicians might be correct: That drinking very hot liquids might contribute to oesophageal cancer along with high alcohol consumption and smoking.

Researchers for the National Natural Science Foundation of China and National Key Research and Development Programme surveyed the health and habits of 456,155 people aged 30 to 79, suggesting that tea-drinking may be playing a role in the rising prevalence of oesophageal cancer in China.

Participants who drank high-temperature tea, consumed alcohol excessively and smoked had an oesophageal cancer risk more than five times greater than those with none of those three habits. This same risk was not present among those who did not smoke or drink to excess.

While this research was carried out in China, the views have also been expressed in other countries where the incidence of oesophageal cancer is high.


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