EU Health Policy

European Cancer Patient's Bill of Rights

Cross Boarder Healthcare
European Code Against Cancer
European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC)
Cancer Control Joint Action (CanCon)


European Cancer Patient's Bill of Rights

The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights was launched in Strasbourg 
Charter is a call to action to address the significant disparities that exist for European cancer patients today, and a call for more patient involvement and empowerment. The three patient-centred key principles that underpin the Bill of Rights are:

  1. the right of every European citizen to receive accurate information and be involved in their own care;
  2. the right of every European citizen to access specialised cancer care underpinned by research and innovation, and
  3. the right of every European citizen to cost effective health systems that ensure optimal cancer outcomes.

The Charter specifically highlights the role of patient advocacy organisations in cancer care and the patients' rights to be represented, which is quite unprecedented and unique in a Bill of Patient Rights so far, and which is a tool for us patient organisations to demand more patient involvement.

Click here to read more.

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Cross Border Healthcare

Travel in the EU over the years has become much easier and this can create tensions over where people get their health care and who pays for it. Obtaining healthcare in another country is a complicated area with both legal and economic implications. A number of case brought to the Court of Justice led to agreement that a single approach needed to be adopted. Finally talking ended and legislation was agreed in January 2011 with the publication of Directive 2011/24/EU. 

From 25 October 2013 it will be enforceable and in all countries patients can exercise their right to access treatment in another country and receive information and approval for any planned or unplanned medical intervention.

The Directive, although a compromise from the original plans, aims to strengthen patient care across the EU, to develop shared good practice and to develop collaboration between health systems where this doesn’t exist already. 

It could be argued that this legislation is the first step in making sure that more uniform healthcare is available across all of Europe to all citizens no matter where they live.

The European Patients Forum has produced a useful and informative toolkit which can be accessed at -

The legislation sets out the rights of patients who seek healthcare in another Member State by making provision for the introduction of a general framework to:

  • clarify patients’ rights with regard to accessing cross-border healthcare provision;
  • guarantee the safety, quality and efficiency of care that they will receive in another EU Member State;
  • promote cooperation betweenMemberStateon healthcare matters.

A new website has been established to provide information about National Control Points where information is available for citizens. It will not be reviewed for another 2 years but all citizens are invited to contribute through their local patient organization to the monitoring of this new system and contribute to raising awareness where the system is failing citizens.

EuropaColon will work to make sure that people with colorectal cancer are able to receive the most appropriate care, even if this entails receiving care in another country, either because the hospital is more conveniently located or because the oncologists or surgeons are more able to manage a specific condition.

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e-health is a relatively new term and covers healthcare practice that is supported by electronic processes of communication. While it is an evolving concept it currently embraces:

  • Electronic health records: communicating patient data between different healthcare professionals (GPs, specialists etc.);
  • Telemedicine: physical and psychological treatments at a distance;
  • Consumer health informatics: use of electronic resources on medical topics by healthy individuals or patients;
  • Virtual healthcare teams: healthcare professionals who collaborate and share information on patients through digital equipment;
  • m-Health: includes the use of mobile devices in collecting patient health data;
  • Health knowledge management: such as access to the latest medical journals, best practice guidelines or epidemiological tracking.

e-Health is made possible by the continuing development of the world wide web and similar communication tools and is increasingly seen as means to create efficient working practices, minimise wasteful variation, bring about measurable savings and ensure value for money.

e-Health will enable people to communicate more easily with their healthcare providers, manage their own health and become more active participants in the care and services they receive.

It is likely that this will contribute to greater integration of care and support for people, especially those with long-term conditions. It should improve information to support the work of healthcare staff providing tools to communicate information effectively to improve quality.

Importantly it will improve medicines safety for patients and provide speedy updates to clinical and managers across the health and social care spectrum to help make decisions on service quality, performance and delivery.

EuropaColon acknowledges that we live in a world of swiftly changing and easy communication and this should enable more information to be shared with all parties involved in healthcare to improve the overall health of all people in Europe and will campaign to achieve this.


  • EuropaColon supports the expansion of means to manage healthcare through new and developing technologies
  • We believe more information, not less, will improve patients experience and outcomes
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European Code against Cancer

The European Code against Cancer was originally drawn-up by a committee of cancer experts in 1987 with a number of practical recommendations to prevent cancer, such as adopting healthier lifestyles and participating in screening programmes. This was revised and adopted by the Cancer Experts Committee in 1994 with a third edition  published in 2003.

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European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC)

The European Commission proposed the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) for the period 2009-2013 to support member states in their efforts to tackle cancer, providing a framework for identidying and sharing information, capacity and expertise, and engaging relevant stakeholders across the European Union in a collective effort to control cancer.  With activities running from early 2011 to early 2014, the EPAAC Joint Action has spanned work in the fields of cancer prevention and health promotion; health communication, screening and early diagnosis; healthcare coordination of cancer research; cancer information and data; and National cancer programmes.

For more information, visit the EPAAC website by clicking here

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Cancer Control Joint Action (CANCON)

Cancon aims to contribute in different ways to reducing the cancer burden in the EU.

Europacolon is proud to have been invited to be a collaborating partner on CANCON.
We will be actively participating in Work Packages (WP's) 6, 7 & 9.
Visit the CANCON website by clicking here

List of Newsletters

1 (12/3/2014)

2 (13/5/2014)

3 (26/6/2014)

4 (31/7/2014)

5 (10/9/2014)

6 (15/10/2014)
Full newsletters can be read at 

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