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Raising health awareness among EU citizens.

Byline: Jean Christou

E.U. HEALTH Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has launched the Europe for Patients campaign aimed at raising the awareness of EU citizens about health policies in the bloc.

"During my preparations for the Parliamentary hearing back in April, I was truly impressed by the breadth of health policies and actions with which my services were involved," said Vassiliou.

"At the same time, I was also shocked and disappointedAato see that most people in Europe were quite unaware of the positive impacts that EU health policies have on their everyday lives."

Vassiliou said that from the many surveys all across Europe, people were very interested in health and craved more information on health issues.AaShe said many of the health policies within the Europe for Patients campaign, addressed this quest for knowledge.

"We need to provide clear information, free of Euro-jargon with real examples that relate to people's lives," said Vassiliou.

"We need to clarify and simplify our message. I feel we need to group the various health care related initiatives into a single package.AaThis is the starting point of the Europe for Patients Campaign."

Vassiliou said the project was much more than a communication campaign, and aimed at improving health care all across Europe by providing a coherent and tangible communication framework for the many different healthcare policies the EU plans to adopt and undertake.

The central theme that binds the different policies together is the focus on improving healthcare for all in Europe.

"It will provide patients with opportunities to receive safe and high quality healthcare that they need, expect and demand," said Vassiliou.

It also provides a simple entry point to the often complex world of EU healthcare policies and actions, she added.

"It will better explain what we are doing at European level and how it can benefit our citizens in the field of public health."

Vassiliou said that at present there were ten initiatives they hoped to adopt in the coming six to nine months.

"These initiatives address crucial issues including cancer screening, patient safety, rare diseases and the health workforce," she said.

"We also intend to adopt important quality and safety measures on organ donation and transplantation accompanied by an action plan to address the organ shortage in Europe and strengthen co-ordination mechanisms."

The campaign was launched with the website "Europe for Patients" which will be available on the EU health portal in 22 languages.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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