World Kidney Day: EU member states should coordinate national health policies
While healthcare policies are a national competence, the EU also has a role to play, says Aldo Patriciello.
Every effort to improve people's health must be supported. As a member of the informal MEP group for kidney health, increasing the focus on a topic as important as this is one of my main goals.
In Europe, ten per cent of the population is affected by chronic kidney disease. Around 70 million Europeans have lost some of their kidney function and seriously run the risk of becoming dependent on renal replacement therapies.
This is also a challenge for national health systems, given that the annual costs incurred for a dialysis patient in Europe are estimated at €80,000.
- Karin Kadenbach: EU health systems need paradigm shift
- Kidney disease must be included in EU action on chronic conditions
- Glenis Willmott: Call for EU to limit trans fats
Although national healthcare policies are the competence of EU member states, I think it is important for the European Union to work on these issues to more effectively tackle the problems of kidney failure.
One of the most important aspects is undoubtedly improving prevention and early detection.
Sharing best practice, supporting scientific research and creating of centres of excellence for the treatment of kidney diseases, are certainly important elements from this point of view.
However, more is required. We need, for example, new policies that support actions at EU level that extend and improve the lives of patients with this disease and to reduce the impact of the condition on healthcare systems.
Due to differences in donor legislation, access to transplants varies greatly between member states. This is why we need greater integration in this field.
Health is one of the things that matter most to citizens. Ensuring better access to healthcare means improving the quality of life of European citizens.
Early intervention is a cost-effective solution to reducing the burden of musculoskeletal disorders, writes Juan Jover.
We urgently need legal certainty to support innovation in plant breeding in the EU, writes Arjen van Tunen.
A balanced approach to data protection in research will boost patient health, writes Richard Bergström.