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European Alliance of Initiatives
for Applied Anthroposophy

Why is patient expertise so important?

Dear Friends of the ELIANT Alliance,

Have you ever felt as a patient that decisions are being made over your head? And that you are disempowered? The focus on high-tech health provision, a lack of understanding for complementary medicine and patients who are uninformed can be very costly to the health service as well as undermining health.

ELIANT is working to recognise patient expertise in the EU and this means challenging the tendency within the health service of treating patients as children.

Why do we not have the information?

We have entrusted the care of our health to many powerful institutions: Specialist societies, associations of health professionals, hospitals, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies. They all set rules that determine what should happen to us in the event of illness, what we need to buy and what level of service we should expect or pay for. Only very rarely are patients or their representatives asked what they think!

Towards a new health culture in Europe

ELIANT is working together with citizens and patients organisations to develop a new concept of health care in Europe:

  • The knowledge and requirements of patients should be considered when a course of therapy is planned. A lot of evidence from complementary medicine shows how this expertise can be the real source of healing.
  • Therapists, carers and doctors should also be paid for efforts aimed at enhancing the science of health and disease prevention. It is not simply a matter of diagnosing an illness and then finding the quickest means to obliterate symptoms. It means for example having enough time for essential conversations, home visits and the provision of advice that includes options for complementary treatments and other genuine alternatives to standard medicine. In this way many unnecessary and expensive tests, operations and medicines could be avoided and patients' expertise enhanced.

Europe urgently needs a new holistic and democratically based health care system:

  • Classical and complementary medicine must work together.
  • Carefully developed internet platforms are needed to enable patients to find clear information about classical and complementary treatment possibilities.

With your support we can achieve this objective. Many thanks!

With our best regards
On behalf of the ELIANT team
Dr. Michaela Glöckler and Susanna Küffer Heer