Chapter I. Introduction – Draft report EU Policy Recommendations on Self-Care
Work Package 3:
Draft 4 (08.09.2015)
Report proposing policy actions on self-care at EU level
“Public health stands in relation to society like the doctor in relation to the patient: charged with diagnosing, prescribing, and treating its ills. In other words, public health is affected by almost every policy in government, and almost every policy in government could potentially be seen as more or less successful public health policy.” (Greer, 2013, p.16).
The present interim report presents possible routes of policy actions on self-care at EU level. The proposals result from four main stages of analysis:
Figure 1. Main stages of analysis
Following these stages of analysis, each step converges towards a management model/cycle linking the main objective, to formulate policy recommendations on self-care with added-value at EU level with the necessary actions (Figure 2. The input/output model for self-care below).
Figure 2. The input/output model for self-care
The main objective of Work package 3 is to develop concrete proposals for policy actions and collaboration at EU level on self-care which will give an added value in supporting the broader implementation of effective self-care. In the process, the above mentioned cost/benefit analysis and the outcome of the call for tender in work plan 2013 of the Health Programme (2008-2013) “Empowering patients in the management of chronic diseases” (EAHC 2013/Health/04) will be taken into account.
The application of the Public management model corresponds to the structure of the present report. Chapter II will map existing and related EU policies on self-care which will create a common ground of understanding the different speeds of development of related policies and possible links. Chapter III will present the needs of persons/patients regarding self-care and will outline the results of a survey carried out within patient and consumer representative organisations at EU level (EPF and BEUC respectively). This will offer insights as to target groups, barriers to self-care, needs as well as necessary education interventions and the extent to which persons/patients would like to bear the costs of their own self-care.
Chapter IV will give an understanding of the socio-medical conditions/infrastructure/needs around the persons’/patients’ needs for self-care. In this sense, the perspectives and necessary adaptations of insurers and healthcare professionals will play a significant role.
Chapter V will outline the impact of self-care on the healthcare system in terms of the cost-benefit of self-care.
The final chapter, Chapter VI will offer final EU policy recommendations on the five self-limiting conditions as well as more generally on self-care.
The present study proposes EU policy recommendations on self-care for five self-limiting conditions: Athlete’s foot, cough, cold, lower urinary tract infection and heartburn. The selection of these conditions is taken from a longer list of minor ailments indicated by literature and practice. The five conditions were discussed and validated with a primary care physician and public health experts participating in the EU tender on the ‘Cost-benefit analysis of self-care systems in the European Union’, EAHC contract N°EAHC/2013/Health/26. These are minor conditions deemed to represent the main focus of self-care but they will be complemented by a set of general recommendations on self-care (Chapter VI).
WP3 complements information collected from the survey on persons’/patients’ needs with the analysis presented in the guideline to promote self-care at national level, that is, the output of WP1. This is presented in Chapter VI.
Similarly, WP3 provides recommendations regarding communication on self-care at EU level, based, at least in part, on the outputs of WP2. This is also presented in Chapter VI.