UEG press release

UEG Week Press Release: What will the European healthcare system look like in 2040?

November 17, 2014

What will the European healthcare system look like in 2040?

(Vienna, October 21, 2014) United European Gastroenterology (UEG) has today launched ‘Future Scenarios’, three plausible models for future healthcare delivery in Europe, to encourage healthcare professionals and policy makers to start planning for a more sustainable future for patients with digestive and liver diseases.

These ‘Future Scenarios’, which have taken more than a year to develop, will challenge current thinking and aim to inspire the gastroenterology community to work together to shape a better future for patients.

“Current models for healthcare delivery in Europe are unsustainable, with a rapidly ageing population, volatile political and economic landscapes as well as a shrinking workforce and increasing lifestyle diseases,” says UEG President, Professor Michael Farthing. “If we don’t start planning for change now, we are all going to be facing a pretty uncertain future.”

Unsustainable burden of GI diseases

Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases contribute significantly to the healthcare burden in Europe, accounting for substantial morbidity, mortality and cost. Digestive diseases - gastrointestinal and liver disorders - are common across Europe, causing more than 500,000 deaths in 2008 in the 28 EU member states (and more than 900,000 deaths in the whole of Europe, including Russia and other non-EU states).  Over one-third of all acute hospital admissions are due to GI diseases and most Europeans will visit a gastroenterologist at least once in their lives.

“We know that the incidence and prevalence of most major GI disorders are rising across Europe and there is already poor access to care in many countries,” said Prof. Farthing. “Since changing the way we deliver healthcare in the future seems inevitable, we decided to take a bold approach and highlight possible scenarios, inspiring everyone to get involved and play their part in shaping a better future for digestive and liver disease healthcare.”

Healthcare in Europe 2040: Scenarios and implications for digestive and liver diseases

Over the past year, UEG’s Future Scenarios Working Group has been collaborating with specialist scenario planners to develop a set of plausible, relevant and challenging scenarios that may impact the delivery of GI healthcare in 2040. These scenarios – entitled Ice Age, Silicon Age and Golden Age – will be launched today at UEG Week 2014, with more than 600 gastro and liver disease specialists as well as a wide range of stakeholder groups joining the debate.

The healthcare scenarios for 2040 to be launched are:

·         Ice Age: Where European impoverishment will have led to two-tier medicine and eventually to the collapse of public healthcare in Europe.

·         Silicon Age: Where advancements in technology, science and social interactions will have led to very extensive automation of diagnoses and treatments and redirected health behaviour, resulting in a positive change in healthcare.

·         Golden Age: Where a strong, well-coordinated, unified Europe will ensure high-quality healthcare for ALL European citizens.

“The three scenarios we have developed, which could all form the shape of healthcare in Europe in 2040, will help focus our thinking and encourage us to have courageous conversations about the future of gastroenterology practice,” said Prof. Farthing. “We see today’s launch as the start of those conversations and hope everyone will join the debate and work together to deliver high-quality care whatever the future holds.”

Starting the Conversation

Help us plan for a better future for people with digestive and liver diseases

Visit www.ueg.eu/research/gi2040/ and vote for the scenario you think is most likely.

Post your thoughts and comments on the future of digestive and liver diseases throughout Europe @my_UEG #GI2040.

Notes to Editors

About UEG Week

UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning.

From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts.

About UEG

UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge.

To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including:

· UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion

· Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations

· UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology

· EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe

Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu

Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia


Press Contacts

Samantha Forster

Email: media@ueg.eu

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099


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