“Reformulating processed foods for better health”

The third European Digestive Health Summit will be held in the European Parliament on November 28, and be hosted by the Digestive Health Group and MEP Pavel Poc.

Patient Affairs

All the latest patient affairs news, from UEG and patient organisations.

About UEG Week News: Professor Farthing, prior to your upcoming presidency you have been Chair of the Future Trends Committee. How will the insights you have gained through this work guide your agenda as UEG President? Prof. Farthing: The Future Trends Committee has two important pieces of work underway, which concern the burden of digestive disorders in Europe and the development of future scenarios for the management of digestive disorders in Europe. Let me start with the first of these issues: the Future Trends Committee has commissioned a pan-European survey of the burden of gastrointestinal and liver disease across the continent. This will provide core data for a comprehensive survey of digestive health in Europe. By this we expect to identify differences in digestive health provision between nations and to demonstrate gaps in knowledge, such that the study will itself promote future research initiatives. The study will also assess economic factors in the delivery of health care and make between-nation comparisons of annual spends on healthcare and attempt to relate this to the quality of health outcomes. UEG Week News: Who is carrying out the study? Prof. Farthing: An expert academic, multi-disciplinary team based at Swansea University, under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Roberts. This research team won the contract after an open bidding process that was overseen by the Future Trends Committee, which made a final recommendation to UEG Council. The team has extensive experience of this kind of study and published previously in related topics but as yet not on a pan-European scale. UEG Week News: What kind of outcome do you expect? Prof. Farthing: We believe this survey will provide invaluable information on the trends in morbidity and mortality of the major gastrointestinal and liver diseases. This information will assist our lobbying activities at the European Commission, particularly with respect to raising awareness of health-care trends in our speciality, and also assist in making the case for future research funding. We believe that the findings will also be of value to National Societies during discussions with health ministers about clinical and research priorities in member nations. This in-depth study will help us prioritise efforts for the promotion of new health-care interventions and research in Europe during the next 5 years. A first report  will be available on Tuesday, October 15, on the UEG Week website, with a final report to follow in the course of 2014. UEG Week News: Let’s turn to the Committee’s second main issue you mentioned at the beginning... Prof. Farthing: The Committee is also engaged in an exciting piece of work which aims to discover through a ‘scenario planning’ methodology how the specialty might evolve during the next 20 to 30 years. We will assess how the roles of different health-care professionals involved in the management of GI and liver diseases might change during this period and, in particular, where substitution across roles might occur. We will explore national differences in the way in which digestive health care is evolving across Europe and watch how economic factors are driving these changes in care. Our discipline has developed rapidly over the past 3 to 4 decades, many of the changes being technologically driven, notably through the major advancements in endoscopic and cross-sectional imaging, the impact of minimally invasive procedures both surgical and endoscopic, and through the development of relevant basic science that has improved diagnostic precision and therapeutic interventions. UEG Week News: How does this scenario building work? Prof. Farthing: Scenarios will be developed through workshop type formats as well as interviews with internal and external stakeholders, and the outcomes will eventually be triangulated with other groups, including our patients. The process is being supported by experts from Normann Partners, based in Stockholm and London, a group that specialises in the scenario planning approach to horizon scanning and imagining the future.


<< to ‘find out what we shall be doing in the future’, say in 10 to 20 years’ time, will help us prepare new training programmes for the gastroenterologists of the future >>

UEG Week News: How are gastroenterologists going to benefit from this look into the future? Prof. Farthing: The importance to ‘find out what we shall be doing in the future’, say in 10 to 20 years’ time, will help us prepare new training programmes for the gastroenterologists of the future, to work out ways of working better with other health-care professionals in our discipline and, perhaps most importantly, to determine what will be the key role of medically qualified practitioners in this new world. It will also guide the development of UEG, particularly UEG Week, the e-learning portal and our other educational activities. UEG Week News: Envisaging the immediate present of UEG, one of the most important organisational reforms, carried out recently, consisted in the National Societies becoming UEG members in their own right. Which new perspective does this open up? Prof. Farthing: Restructuring UEG to enable National Societies to become UEG members in their own right has been a major step forward for UEG. In the vast majority of cases, National Societies came into being before the specialist societies, which were the ‘founding sisters’ of UEG (then UEGF). National Societies, however, were always represented through the umbrella organisation ASNEMGE, but the new arrangements ensure that the National Societies have an important voice in determining the strategic future of UEG through the National Societies Forum, the General Assembly and Council. The remit of the National Societies Committee (NSC) is to maximise communication and strengthen relationships between the National Societies and UEG.

Fighting the World’s Toughest Cancer

To coincide with World Pancreatic Cancer Day and to help turn the tide against this dreadful disease, UEG will launch a report on Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 marks World Pancreatic Cancer Day, aiming to raise awareness of the world’s toughest cancer.

To coincide with World Pancreatic Cancer Day and to help turn the tide against this dreadful disease, UEG will launch a report titled ‘Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe: Taking a stand against the continent’s deadliest cancer’. In addition to the report, UEG and Pancreatic Cancer Europe (PCE) will be hosting an event in the European Parliament on Wednesday, 10 October, 2018 on the topic. Pancreatic cancer is responsible for over 95,000 deaths in the EU every year1 and is Europe’s third leading cause of cancer-related death, behind lung and colorectal cancer2. Despite being Europe’s third biggest cancer killer, pancreatic cancer has been chronically underfunded for years. The disease receives less than 2% of all cancer research funding3, even though the number of people dying from the cancer has risen continuously over the last 40 years4.

Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe: Taking a stand against the continent’s deadliest cancer

On the occasion of the World Pancreatic Cancer Day, UEG will launch a report titled ‘Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe: Taking a stand against the continent’s deadliest cancer’. The report will be issued in partnership with Pancreatic Cancer Europe (PCE) and will be supported by the European Pancreatic Club (EPC), Digestive Cancers Europe (DiCE), the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO). The report will also be endorsed by the European Parliament Interest Group on Digestive Health, which was launched in May to serve as a platform for exchange between the scientific community and policy makers to ensure that digestive health becomes and continues to be an integral part of the EU agenda. The report will aim to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and outline strategies and activities that will transform disease outcomes over the next twenty years, including increased EU funding, screening reimbursement and broader data registries. The report also calls on EU policy makers to take a stand and make a difference to the outlook for pancreatic cancer patients, both now and in generations to come.

Putting Pancreatic Cancer on the map – what we have and what we need

In addition to the report, UEG and PCE will be hosting an event in the European Parliament on Wednesday, 10 October, 2018. The event, ‘Putting Pancreatic Cancer on the map – what we have and what we need’ will bring together experts, policymakers and other stakeholders to present current inequalities in pancreatic cancer throughout Europe, showcase best practice examples and address barriers in diagnosing the disease. Hosted by MEP Pavel Poc, speakers will include Dr Lydia Makaroff (ECPC), Professor Matthias Löhr (UEG), Ali Stunt (PCE) and MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu.

During World Pancreatic Cancer Day, follow updates from @my_UEG and track the discussion through following #WPCD.

View our infographic on Pancreatic Cancer Across Europe. Watch our video: ‘Pancreatic Cancer: Stuck in the 1970s’

Digestive Health Month Highlights

In May, UEG celebrated their third annual Digestive Health Month in order to raise awareness of a variety of digestive diseases.

During the month of May, UEG celebrated their third annual Digestive Health Month in order to raise awareness of a variety of chronic digestive diseases.

There were three main events during the month, which included two awareness days; World IBD Day on 19 May and World Digestive Health Day, coordinated by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), on 29 May. New to this year’s agenda was the very exciting launch of the MEP Digestive Health Group in the European Parliament on 15 May.

World IBD Day and World Digestive Health Day

On 19 May, World IBD Day took place with the aim to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease. UEG worked collaboratively with the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFFCA) to help spread awareness of inflammatory bowel disease and how this is impacting public health. To finalise the month, World Digestive Health Day took place on 29 May, which is organised each year by the WGO. The theme changes each year, and this year’s focus was on viral hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B and C are the most common forms of the virus in Europe. In support of the day, UEG produced a new infographic on hepatitis B and C across Europe. The infographic was produce in collaboration with the WGO, the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and the European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA).
View the infographic

Launch of the MEP Digestive Health Group

The MEP Digestive Health Group will aim to serve as a platform for exchange between the scientific community and policy makers to ensure that digestive health becomes and continues to be an integral part of the EU agenda. The successful launch was co-hosted by MEP Pavel Poc and MEP Nessa Childers and took place at the European Parliament in Brussels. To support the MEP group launch, a report on the state of chronic digestive diseases across Europe, focusing on the continent’s current issues, challenges and inequalities, was also published.
View the MEP report

Thank you to our partners!

UEG would like to thank all of the organisations and stakeholders that attended the launch of the MEP Digestive Health Group in Brussels and for those that have engaged and supported Digestive Health Month on social media! If you would like to see more of went on during the month of May, visit UEG’s Twitter and view the discussions under the hashtags #DigestiveHealthMonth and #MEP_DHG.  Visit the WGO website Visit the EFFCA website Visit the ELPA website Visit the EASL website

Get a summary of Brussels highlights

EU Newsline provides you with the latest developments in Brussels in the field of public health, medical research and related scientific activities relevant for UEG.

EU newsline provide you with the latest developments in Brussels in the field of public health, medical research and related scientific activities relevant for UEG.

Get the latest updates on the activities of EU Institutions and relevant EU stakeholders, including funding opportunities and open consultation.