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‘European Doctors call for policies which look at the bigger picture of public health’


06 May 2011


Health & Consumers

CPME Board Meeting


“The CPME decided again in favor of solidarity for better quality of healthcare and service provision for all; there is a clear need for efficient innovation with a holistic view on future public health policy. It is of utmost importance that environmental, social and economic aspects are balanced with the highest ethical standards. “

CPME President, Dr Konstanty Radziwill


At its meeting in Brussels on 30 April 2011, the Board of the Standing Committee of European Doctors adopted a number of policy documents which aim to tackle public health policy in a more  holistic manner. The CPME inter alia approved a document addressing health inequalities and outlining main actions, furthermore a position on Active and Healthy Ageing developing innovative ways to face an ageing society, and also a policy on climate change and its relevance for health.


While agreeing to continue work on assessing the scope of application of an electronic ID card for professionals that would answer patient safety concerns, further CPME policy papers adopted emphasize patient safety by outlining patient safety concerns in terms of access to medicines that are safe and innovative, through the CPME position on Access to Medicines – biosimilars and the CPME position on the revision of the Clinical Trials Directive.


The Statement on the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing sets out main points for action for a successful planning and execution of the next stage within the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

The overall outcome set by the EU is to increase healthy lifespan in the EU by two years by 2020. CPME suggests identifying pathways for piloting that have established clinical management, role identification, measurable outcomes and a degree of patient involvement. While “hard” evidence of improved outcomes is essential, “soft” evidence is also important. These include more qualitative assessments, such as independence, increased confidence in self-management, and reduced isolation. Workforce issues of health professionals, as well as innovative technologies, a sustainable health policy even in times of financial crises for the health care systems are decisive elements for any strategy of the innovative partnership from the doctors’ point of view.


In terms of patient safety through reduction in health inequalities, CPME response to the consultation of the European Commission communication “Solidarity in Health” called for better documentation on health inequalities (including exchange of best practices), the use of structural funds to support countries and regions improve housing and the distribution of potable water, improve maternal and child health care (including good child nutrition) and secure the right to health for disadvantaged people including illegal entrants and asylum seekers. At the National Medical Associations’ (NMA) level, CPME recommends that NMAs contribute to the reduction of social gradients by drawing government attention to the ratification of international conventions or charters that secure the right to health and lobby health authorities for better healthcare, particularly for the disadvantaged people.


Climate change effects on healthcare are of relevance to the work of CPME and the CPME policy on Climate Change supports developing evidence of a substantial and measurable effect on health arising from greenhouse gas reduction. The policy encourages CPME members to lobby for inclusion of economic and health benefits in the Durban COP17 agreement in view of the CPME’s participation in the 17th United Nations Conference, COP17 which is to take place in Durban, South Africa and taking forward CPME work developed at the previous COP meetings in Copenhagen and Cancun. 


The CPME also adopted a policy on the impact of task shifting on doctors in training which calls for adequate training opportunities for junior doctors. CPME recommends that the wider impact of task shifting is investigated in order to ensure that patients receive care from the most appropriate health professional.


Last, but not least, the CPME welcomed the Albanian Order of Physicians as new observer member to the CPME.



All CPME Policy documents are available at:

For more information, please contact:

Birgit BEGER
CPME Secretary General
Tel.: +32 2 732 72 02
Fax: +32 2 732 73 44

For more information about CPME, consult our website:


The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) is the representative organization of European doctors through its full members, the most representative National Medical Associations of 27 countries in Europe. CPME works closely together with its other members, four National Medical Associations from associated and observer countries as well as with specialized European medical associations. CPME aims to promote the highest standards of medical training and medical practice in order to achieve the highest quality of health care for all patients in Europe. CPME is also concerned with the promotion of public health, the relationship between patients and doctors and the free movement of doctors within the European Union.