Equity in healthcare

Elaborating a draft instrument on equitable and timely access to innovative treatments and technologies in healthcare systems

New developments in healthcare hold the promise of greatly improved health but can entail, at the same time, risks of deepening inequalities and new forms of discrimination and marginalisation. 

It is essential that innovative treatments and new healthcare technologies are made available in an equitable and timely manner. Access to such innovative treatments and technologies, involves ensuring that everyone, without discrimination is offered a fair opportunity to receive them in a safe and effective manner. 

However, in view of the competing demands on healthcare services and often limited evidence supporting safety and efficacy of innovative treatments and technologies, it may be a challenge for governments and decision-makers to ensure timely and equitable access to them. 
While allowing flexibility at member State level, the work aims to support member States in defining and implementing fair and consistent prioritization strategies to ensure equitable access to innovative treatments and technologies when clinical evidence is limited and the decision-making process uncertain.

Moreover, a harmonised framework across member States would help to combat inequities between them and to empower them.