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Parliamentary questions
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25 May 2010
E-3612/2010
Question for written answer E-3612/2010
to the Commission
Rule 117
Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE)

 Subject: Reducing the burden of chronic diseases by empowering patients to participate in managing their own diseases
 Answer in writing 

Chronic diseases represent one of this century's greatest challenges for society and for health systems. According to the World Health Organisation, chronic diseases currently account for the bulk of Europe's disease burden, causing 86 % of deaths in 2005 (and 77 % of the disease burden in that year).

Many of these diseases can be managed by patients themselves. Patients can be educated to change their behaviour, monitor the development of their disease, check vital signs and take action to improve their state of health where there is no need for professional intervention or medical care. This makes it possible to reduce both the patient's dependence on the health system and the costs associated with treating patients suffering from chronic diseases. Integrating disease prevention and self-management into national and Community policies could help to reduce the burden of these diseases in the future.

Do the self-management of diseases and empowerment of patients figure among the Commission's priorities in its legislative programme for the coming period? What recommendations would the Commission make to help reduce the burden of chronic diseases at EU level, and how does it assess the effectiveness of these measures? Does the Commission have an evaluation of the methods used by Member States to manage these problems through national plans, and does it consider it necessary to define models aimed at optimising these approaches at Member State level by taking a harmonised approach?

Original language of question: ROOJ C 170 E, 10/06/2011
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