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European network to reduce vulnerabilities in health [Vulnerability NW] [663681] - Framework Partnership Agreement
Project abstract

The proposal creates a new, open ‘European network to reduce vulnerabilities in health’, bringing together NGOs and academic partners from 17 EU Member States and 2 EFTA/EEA countries. Our goal is to contribute to decreased EU-wide health inequalities and to more responsive health systems that are better equipped to deal with vulnerability factors that increase health inequalities.The economic crisis has demonstrated that everyone could be ‘vulnerable’ at a given moment in their life. Many members of ‘vulnerable groups’ such as (undocumented) migrants or asylum seekers, sex workers, drug users, Roma, the homeless etc. are actually quite resilient. Consequently, the concept of 'vulnerability' is more useful, inclusive and more precise than the term ‘vulnerable groups’. In order for health systems in Europe to be sustainable and resilient, they need to be able to cover the whole population without any gaps and effectively deal with multiple vulnerabilities.The founding members of the Network seek to gain greater capacity and skills through mutual learning about how to improve health service delivery, patient empowerment, common data collection and advocacy. As a result, people facing multiple vulnerabilities will get access to higher quality care in the health programmes run by Network members and the skills and knowledge they need to get easier access to good quality care in mainstream healthcare systems. The Network will undertake a common data collection process to generate robust data, analysed and validated by a leading epidemiologist. This data will be valuable for academics to review and acquire greater understanding about how vulnerabilities contribute to health inequalities. It will also be a new resource for local, regional, national and EU health authorities, enlarging the evidence base on reducing vulnerabilities in health and identifying ways that health systems could become more responsive and adapted.