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EPHA – Ball is in Council’s court to end health discrimination

The multiple forms of health and other discrimination faced by patients with chronic diseases and vulnerable groups, as well as the political commitment needed to combat this, were the focus of a conference organised by DG SANCO in March entitled, ‘Health in Europe, making it fairer’.

The conference sent a strong message to the Council of Ministers to break the gridlock and swiftly adopt the Directive on the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, race, type of condition, social status, education, or country of residence.

Equal treatment legislation should protect patients and citizens from discrimination based on health status or chronic conditions in all areas of their life.

Europe has a long way to go if it is to live up to its pledges to improve the health and living standards of people living on low income and individuals with chronic diseases. The fight against health inequalities and the skyrocketing rates of poverty among people with disabilities or chronic conditions must be at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The EU can take action to ensure better accessibility and affordability of healthcare, which must become a right for all. EPHA and the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) recently called on EU Commission President Barroso in an open letter to strengthen the health and equity dimensions in the 2020 Strategy and to further engage civil society.

Joint letter available here

Originally posted on 11 April 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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