Projects in 2012


FIRST CONFERENCE ON HEALTH INEQUALITIES IN THE NEW EU MEMBER STATES: POLICY MAKERS AND PATIENTS – CREATING THE CHANGE



The event is initiated and organized by the Bulgarian National Patients’ Organization (NPO) with the collaboration of the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), the European Umbrella Organization representing the voice of patients across the European Union. The Conference will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on 20-21 September, 2012.

Background and rationale for the Patients’ Conference

Reducing health inequalities is crucial for the overall health and wealth of society, and one of the key priorities of the EU Health Strategy, “Together for Health”. Patients with chronic diseases form a distinct constituency with particular needs. While there are health inequalities between – and within – every region of the EU, there is a gap in health between the old and new EU Member States, and a number of common problems and unmet needs of patients from the region.

For the first time this Conference will address the challenge of health inequalities in the region from the specific perspective of European policy makers, national policy makers and patients from the 12 new EU member states, as well as candidate and acceding countries. The event aims to outline the commonalities and differences in healthcare in the region, to highlight the positive role of collaboration between countries and within and between patients’ and stakeholder groups, as well as best practices regarding the active role of patients.

Format and programme
The event will convene approximately 100 participants, composed of national policy makers and governmental representatives, EU level policy makers and patient leaders from the 12 new EU member states and the candidate and acceding countries, health professionals, and media. Speakers will include high-level European Commission officials, high-level political representatives from the focus countries, and representatives of patients and other key stakeholder groups. A preliminary programme is attached for your reference. The working language of the Conference will be English.


PATIENTS’ UNIVERSITY

The program aims at providing full support and assistance to patients with specific chronic illnesses. The structure of the University incorporates patient organizations, medical facilities and other relevant institutions. On one hand, the initiative will provide informative training on given conditions by a professional team; on the other hand, it will provide compliance and consistency in patients’ treatment procedures.

The idea is to provide each patient, upon dismissal from a medical facility, with:
  • Specific documentation pointing to all stages in treatment up to now which will aid future medical evaluations and diagnosis.
  • Going through a training on the illness lead by professional staff (medical practitioner, nurse and a patient)
  • Monthly follow ups of the condition by doctors through a dedicated call center.
  • Opportunity to have a free consultation before a specialist after the 6-months' period for following the patient’s progress.

The university will obtain experience, knowledge and proven practices in the field from other countries (e.g. Spain) and will initially start in two disease areas. In time, the scope of the University will broaden to address more socially important issues.


SECOND NATIONAL CONGRESS OF PATIENTS' ORGANIZATIONS

On the 8th and 9th of June, in the Sofia Princess Hotel, took place the second National Congress of patients’ organizations, members of NPO. The Congress was organized successfully for the second consecutive year by the National Patients’ organization and was dedicated to two main topics.

Day 1st: The Prophylactic of the socially significant diseases.
Day 2nd: Pharmacoeconomic and assessment of the health technologies.


The Congress initiated at 13:00 on the 8th of June. Greeting letters were presented on behalf of Ms. Dessislava Atanasova, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Ms. Daniela Daritkova, Chairman of the National assembly’s Commission for Health. The President of the Bulgarian Pharmacology association, Ms. Milka Vasileva and the President of the Bulgarian association of Healthcare professionals extended personally their greetings.

In the Congress took part more than 100 representatives from patients’ organizations around Bulgaria, as well as members of professional organizations, patients organizations’ leaders and experts in their correspondent areas.

1st day results:

On the Day 1 the first part of lectures was dedicated to the cervix cancer prophylactic and vaccination prophylactic; discussion on the patients place in the realization of the cervix cancer program, as well as the long term strategies in the health sector. At the end of the day the patients discussed the benefits from the creation of the National program for preliminary prophylactic of the cancer cervix, and addressed suggestions for the prophylactic of the disease, as well as described ways through which the patients’ organizations can participate at local level. At the end of the discussion the participants in the Congress voted Memorandum with recommendations for the patients’ cancer cervix prophylactic and other oncology diseases.

2nd day results:

The second day of the Congress was dedicated to the Pharmacoeconomic and pharmaceutical industry in Bulgaria, the impact of generic entry and penetration on drugs’ prices and their use; transparent mechanisms for encouraging free generic drugs’ use; the importance of patient in decision making in the healthcare system, demonstrated through different European practices and examples. The second part of the lectures was dedicated to specific diseases: modeling the long-term outcomes of improved treatment of diabetes of type2; analysis of the budgetary impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy in AIDS patients, cost-effectiveness analysis for vaccination against hepatitis B and others.

The closing discussion covered health technology assessment and involvement of patients in decisions about reimbursement. At the end of the discussion participants voted Memorandum, in which extended recommendations and agreed on the idea of optimization and effective spending of public resources through the expansion and development of health technology assessment, to address not only drugs but other health sectors as well.


NATIONAL PROGRAM ‘PREVENTION OF CERVICAL CANCER

The campaign aims at raising awareness and informing society of the danger and complications of cervical cancer. The initiative addresses risk factors, risk groups, prevention and treatment.

A specialized working group under the MH will elaborate a national plan addressing cervical cancer. Upon completing the national plan, an informative toolkit of promotional materials will be developed and disseminated throughout the country supplementing the ongoing training workshops in schools aimed at raising the health and sex culture of the civil society.