Marcin Rodzinka

Marcin Rodzinka joined Mental Health Europe in 2018. He previously worked at the Jagiellonian University and the National Institute of Public Health in Poland. At MHE, he focuses on transparency, prevention and health systems. He co-authored articles published in Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research and BMC Health Services Research. He is also an author of the report "Shedding light on transparent cooperation in healthcare: The way forward for sunshine and transparency laws across Europe". Marcin holds a Master's degree in Public Health - Health Economics and Governance of Health Systems from the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Cracow.

Healthcare is a complex system in which many actors and interests play a role. Unfortunately, the representation of some prevails over others, quite often even over patients' interest, despite the fact that the whole system's aim is to work for their well-being and safety. In mental health, in particular, industry and healthcare professionals have had a long-standing dual relationship too often qualified by a lack of transparency. This has led to over-reliance on a very narrow biomedical approach to mental healthcare and over-prescription of medication with little scope for users to make informed choices about their care. To ensure the adequate balance of interests in the system, we need more transparency at various levels. But how does transparency fit this picture, and does it matter at all to patients? I believe that patients and users are truly interested in and have a right to know who their providers cooperate with and where they get their knowledge from. Even if not directly by consulting public registers or companies' websites – they always look for the best quality of care for themselves and their relatives and the highest possible competencies of medical staff. Patients and users are growingly becoming aware of the existing conflicts of interest in the medical practice and the ways they can affect the quality of care they receive. However, I think their right to assess and evaluate possible barriers to the full enjoyment of the highest quality of care is not exercised enough. Some legislative steps can be taken in order to improve this. In Europe, nine countries have already decided to introduce legally binding sunshine laws - in various forms. All this is done not to add to the current administrative burden for the companies, but to answer legitimate public concerns about the undue impact of industrial...