Press conference Eular 2012 Berlin

On the third day of the Eular Congress 2012 Prof. Anthony Woolf presented at a press conference in the Press center at the Berlin Messe. In a short presentation he pointed out the achievements that have been made in the last two years by all participating in this unique project. Nevertheless not all is good news.

Prof. Woolf focused his presentation on one of the major obstacles in achieving equality of care across the EU Member States: the lack of comparable data relating to musculoskeletal conditions across Europe. The availability of data varies significantly by region. Data availability is particularly poor for Central and Eastern Europe and there are concerns about differences in definitions and reporting of figures which requires caution to be exercised when attempting interpretation; this is particularly the case with data relating to injuries due to work related accidents.

It is clear that the case for raising awareness of musculoskeletal conditions will be advanced by improving the completeness of data collection and comparability of measures in each of the EU Member States. hoped to have achieved a first small step towards this by being invited to formulate a question on musculoskeletal health for the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). Unfortunately the question was never added to the survey, demonstrating once again the lack of awareness about the burden of MSC’s across Europe.

MSC's seem to be "the Cinderella at the ball" the chair at the pressconference mentioned. This was confirmed by Professor Woolf, who added that we need to make MSC's the Princess.

Enough motivation for to continue the work to set up an information and surveillance network that will help improve insight to both the standards of care and impact of MSC’s. Ultimately, aims to improve the quality of life of all those affected by MSC’s. To do this it is important to get a clear understanding of the factors that are important to make good clinical practice happen in every possible health situation across the EU. To that end asks everybody, health care professionals and patients, to participate in the survey.

Based on the research that has been done, the further development of the standards of care, health quality indicators and an inventory of good practice, expects to have a clear set of recommendations by 2013, to inspire policymakers to take action to improve healthcare and equality across the EU.