European Parliament (Brussels), 17.10.2007
Tuesday 23 October 2007
HFE is an awareness-raising platform for patient groups, healthcare workers, academics, experts and the medical technology industry. Eurofedop is one of its founding members. Through this event, Eurofedop and other HFE members asked the Members of European Parliament and officials from the European Commission to come up with an urgent strategy to deal with HCAIs. Some 40 MEPs participated in the lunch meeting.
European Commission studies show that there are approximately three million HCAIs and 50,000 attributable deaths in the EU each year. This problem is not limited to national borders; it is clearly a pan-European problem and therefore requires a pan-European approach. Eurofedop fully subscribes to the action points that HFE is suggesting:
Developing effective surveillance;
Early detection and preventive measures;
Better provision of education about HCAIs for health care providers and recipients;
The increased use of innovative technologies and services designed to reduce the likelihood of infection.
After the lunch meeting several individual meetings with MEPs took place in their parliament offices. The participants were divided into seven national groups and represented France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the UK and Portugal. In addition to this, an information desk was installed on the ground floor, to inform people about the chances of catching HCAIs. Bert Van Caelenberg acted as team leader for the French team. This team met with Bernadette Vergnaud (PES), Anne Ferreira (PES) and Elisabeth Morin (EPP-ED).
Elizabeth Lynne MEP and Avril Doyle MEP also emphasised the importance of taking action at European level. This view was shared with a representative of European Commissioner Kyprianou who attended the lunch meeting.
Eurofedop participated with a delegation of six health care professionals from Spain and Belgium. The personal experiences in tackling HCAIs, were an important factor in bringing this issue to life – enabling decision-makers to more fully grasp the urgency and gravity of the situation and the need for immediate EU level action.
For more information on Health First Europe please visit www.healthfirsteurope.org