Despite their differences, national health systems in European Union countries place the same rights of patients, consumers, users, family members, weak populations and ordinary people at risk. Despite solemn declarations on the “European Social Model” (the right to universal access to health care), several constraints call the reality of this right into question. As European citizens, we do not accept that rights can be affirmed in theory, but then denied in
practice, because of financial limits. Financial
constraints, however justified, cannot legitimise denying or compromising patients’ rights. We do not accept that these rights can be established by
law, but then left not respected, asserted in electoral programmes, but then forgotten after the arrival of a new
government. The Nice Charter of Fundamental Rights will soon be part of the new European constitution. It is
the basis of the declaration of the
fourteen concrete patients’ rights currently at risk.
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The above preamble of the EUROPEAN
CHARTER OF PATIENTS RIGHTS is as we believe exactly characterising
the Irish health system in general and for sufferers from an eating
disorder in particular. Young wonderful people suffering from an
eating disorder in Ireland still don't have equal access to
treatment programmes. Because there are only three public beds
available for the whole country in a semi specialised hospital in
Dublin. Because a treatment in the two private hospitals in Dublin
with an eating disorder programme is only funded by the VHI. Because the waiting lists are like a
Russian roulette. Because the treatment programmes are outdated.
Young wonderful people suffering from an eating disorder in Ireland still
have to die, because their parents don't have the money to bring
them abroad to find appropriate professional help and support.
Governments come and go, and the ones, who have
responsibility in government just blame the ones before or the ones
after and nothing is changing. Sufferers and their families are
still the forgotten ones. For them the old story stays always the
same - help is only then available, if one has the financial means.
Naturally Patients Rights as outlined in this charter are in Ireland
still a cheque book matter.
We in E.D.contact believe this is
unacceptable. We believe we have the right and responsibility to