May 2013 has been designated as The 'European Month of the Brain'. This is an initiative of the European Commission where everybody with an interest in brain research and healthcare is invited to join and contribute. To date, more than 50 events in 19 countries are planned.
According to a report by Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), published on 9 April, austerity measures in Europe are “destroying” health care systems and increasing xenophobia. The report emphasises the effects of recent measures, such as the elimination of free health care for undocumented migrants and retired people in Spain, as well as worrying announcements in the United Kingdom, and xenophobic attacks on migrants in Greece. The organisation calls for free access to health care for people living below the poverty line in European countries, as well as universal access to vaccines and health care for all minors.
Hearing loss is a prevalent consequence of ageing and poses special challenges for older adults. It is mainly general practitioners, ENT-specialists or audiologists who take care of it. In some countries it is the patient’s responsibility. Also, accesses to audiology services as well as obtaining subsidies differ across the European countries.
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On 11 March, in a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), discussions focused on the transparency of clinical trial results. The draft Clinical Trials regulation, presented last July, repeals the current Directive 2001/20/EC as this has led to regulatory overload. The aim of the draft regulation is to stimulate clinical research in the EU by simplifying procedures and by differentiating between trials according to risks.