On Thursday 19 March 2009 I joined a round table discussion of Brussels-based think tank ECIPE on the topic “2009 Cross-border Healthcare in Europe and beyond.” I was very impressed with the statements of Robert Madelin, Director General of DG SANCO, which were really sharp and to the point. From his point of view it will be very challenging to maintain the current level of healthcare when looking at the pressure of the financial crisis that EU member states have to face. One logical thing to do would be to explore economies of scale and try to manage this crisis jointly.
Furthermore, Mr Madelin would like to see health industry to take on a more constructive and cooperative role. I understood from his words that we should try to think more outside the box, reach out and improve our engagement with other relevant stakeholders like patient and healthcare workers organisations, aiming for joint solutions to maintain the sustainability of healthcare systems.
Additionally, Madelin asked whether we all truly believe in the concept of a “patient centered healthcare system”. I think it is a big opportunity for our medical device sector to take his comments seriously and to prove that we truly believe in this concept. More than ever, we are ready to contribute to long-term solutions!
– Tanja Valentin, Senior Manager, Public Affairs