On 26 October EASO, in collaboration with the MEP Interest Group on Obesity and Health Systems Resilience, convened a technical working session to discuss overcoming policy barriers to improving care for people with obesity and what could be EU level added value through policy interventions.
This “closed door” technical working session built on the work of over 100 stakeholders who previously participated in the MEP Interest Group Study Trip in 2021 resulting in A Joint Declaration Towards Applying an NCD Framework for Obesity National Plans Across Europe as well as the EASO study on the Cost of inaction of not implementing obesity under the NCD framework, the initial results of which were discussed at the last MEP Interest Group meeting at the European Parliament on 12 April this year: Are the costs of inaction on obesity worth it? – Member of the European parliament Interest Group (mepobesityinterest.eu)
- Policy and related fiscal barriers exist at national level which go beyond the realm of “healthcare policies” or human rights. Internal market rules, the Crossborder healthcare Directive, patient rights legislation and anti-discrimination legislation are also issue areas where legislation is not being upheld. Challenges in Germany, Spain and France were key examples discussed on the day.
- If we are to be able to implement obesity screening and early diagnosis, treatment and long-term management, we will need to think beyond “health care” and “obesity policies” to identify additional policy barriers to health service delivery.
- It is important to differentiate between “primary prevention” and “diagnosis, treatment and long-term management” — in other words, health service delivery for all major chronic diseases. Both are necessary, but we cannot apply primary prevention interventions for people in Europe already living with obesity.
- Meeting participants identified key areas for future focus to provide added value at national levels, so we can work across EU institutions and in collaboration with EASO towards the next European Commission mandate.
Thank you to all of the speakers for providing rich examples from your national situations! Maria Malagon (SEEDO), Martine Laville (AFERO), Alina Constantin (Ligue Contre L’Obesité), Oliver Martini (BVMed – Bundesverband Medizintechnologie).
Thank you to our EASO Policy Working Group Members as well as research partners who contributed as speakers to the session: Oriol Solà-Morales (FiHTT – Research Partner), Jennifer Lyn Baker (Member of EASO Policy Working Group), Bart Van der Schueren (Member of EASO Policy Working Group).
Thank you to our institutional speakers for the great advice, guidance and collaborative spirit! Raluca Painter, Head of Unit, European Commission DG REFORM, Linda Anna Abboud and Jinane Ghattas from SCIENSANO Cancer Centre.
Find out more on this initiative: Overcoming policy barriers to improve care for people living with obesity – EASO
Find out more about A Joint Declaration Towards Applying an NCD Framework for Obesity National Plans Across Europe: A Joint Declaration Towards Applying an NCD Framework for Obesity National Plans Across Europe – Member of the European parliament Interest Group (mepobesityinterest.eu)