NLO is pleased to welcome the recent report on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by the Committee on Public Health (SANT) and the amendments proposed by MEPs. We appreciate and recognise many positive elements of the report, which closely align with our shared commitment to addressing health disparities and improving healthcare access across the EU.

The report is particularly important for people in marginalised communities, as they suffer disproportionately from non-communicable diseases. They experience greater vulnerability to developing these diseases and encounter significant barriers in accessing essential NCD treatment and care. This alarming disparity requires immediate attention and targeted interventions to bridge the gap in health outcomes.
We commend the efforts of MEPs who have presented amendments to the report, endorsing several critical recommendations, such as:

  • Inclusion of the Term ‘Marginalised’: The report now explicitly includes the term ‘marginalised,’ signifying the recognition of the unique challenges faced by these communities.
  • Disproportionate Suffering: It emphasises that marginalised communities are disproportionately affected by non-communicable diseases and are more vulnerable to developing these conditions. This is a crucial acknowledgment of the disparities in healthcare outcomes.
  • Increased Exposure to NCD Risk Factors: The amendments highlight that marginalised populations face a greater exposure to risk factors associated with NCDs, contributing to their higher prevalence and mortality rates.
  • Targeted Initiatives: The report calls for targeted initiatives to reduce healthcare disparities and ensure equitable access to NCD prevention and treatment services for individuals from marginalised backgrounds.
  • Socioeconomic Determinants: Socioeconomic determinants of health are now identified as major NCD risk factors, emphasising the multifaceted nature of health disparities.
  • Reducing Undiagnosed NCDs: Member States are encouraged to introduce targeted health checks for high-risk individuals and those belonging to vulnerable and marginalised groups, with the aim of reducing undiagnosed NCDs. Early diagnosis and intervention are pivotal in improving health outcomes.
  • Specific Awareness Campaigns: The report underscores the importance of paying particular attention to disadvantaged, vulnerable, socially excluded, and marginalised individuals. It highlights the need for specific awareness-raising campaigns tailored to groups with unique health literacy needs.

As MEPs continue their deliberations on the draft report and the proposed amendments, NLO encourages policymakers to support and retain these crucial amendments. These amendments prioritise the health of the most vulnerable and have the potential to significantly promote health equity. It is imperative that we work together to ensure that the amendments are not only considered but also integrated into the final report to create a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system for all EU citizens. Together, we can make a meaningful impact on public health in the EU.