Promoting Equity for a better quality of care for all Europeans

The attached statement on Equity was submitted by Prof Mehmet Ungan, WONCA Europe President, on behalf of WONCA Europe, for WHO Europe RC69: "Promoting Equıty for a Better Quality of Health Care for All Europeans". I this and his shorter oral Statement he drew attention to one of the 20 principles and rights proclaimed by the European Commission in 2017: “Everyone has the right to timely access to affordable, preventive and curative health care of good quality”.

For promoting equity for a better quality of care for all Europeans, we, the family physicians/general practitioners from 48 member countries of the WONCA Europe and Non State Actors (NSAs) of PHC Professionals share the WHO’s position that countries should build “universal health care systems, with a strong foundation of primary health care”. This will prepare the ground for efficient multi‐sectoral actions committed to deliver high quality health care.

Actions must be focused on several areas simultaneously.

The NSAs supporting this statement urge the WHO Member States to call to action to address equity and proactively at all levels of society by:

• European politicians, governments and other decision makers to develop a primary health care system that does not vary in quality because of the patients’ personal characteristics, such as their socioeconomic status, gender, education, ethnic origin or geographic location.

• Family doctors around Europe to be aware of the importance of prioritizing equity when planning and delivering comprehensive, holistic health care which includes promoting health and well-being in addition to the management of acute and chronic health problems.

• Health care professionals in Europe to focus on interprofessional collaboration as a key strategy in the delivery of equitable health care.

• Primary health care organizations and their all Member Organizations to engage in collaboration with governments, policy-makers, and other stake-holders, to ensure equitable availability and acceptability of care for all people living in Europe.

• Undergraduate and Postgraduate training to change selection processes and curricula to produce an adequate and equitably distributed primary health care professionals to meet population needs.

Concluding the work of WONCA Europe ‘s Quality and Safety Network and as the Non State Actors in PHC we wish to strongly emphasise that the delivery of primary health care services should focus the available resources on patient and community needs.