The second Semmelweis CEE Conference on Hospital Hygiene and Patient Safety has been a lively event with a lot of positive surprises. To keep the most important thoughts alive and to round off this event, the Semmelweis Foundation wants to present some interviews with the top speakers. We begin with Karin Kadenbach, member of the European Parliament Austria.
Mrs. Kadenbach, why this Conference is so important?
It is important to raise awareness. This conference is a good opportunity to talk with experts. But also to spread the news, because there is a lot of new data. Here we can learn from the best, and I think what we have to tell the world and – especially as I am a member of the European Parliament – my colleges: It’s actually very important, that we look at HAI, because it’s not only the lives we lose. In times like these It’ s also a question of money. Infection prevention and control measures could save about €5.4bn in public health costs.
Are there any projects in the European Commission?
Health is at the core of all citizens’ concerns, and when it comes to receiving healthcare, patients have a fundamental expectation that their hospital treatment will be safe. However, 8-12 per cent of patients admitted to hospital in the EU suffer from adverse events, and 37,000 of them will die each year from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), the most common type of adverse event. The European Commission offers in its third EU health program (2014-2020) quite a lot of pilot projects. But it’s only – let’s say a little money for a really big need. What I try as a member of the parliament is to put more pressure on the Commission to have more money for those projects in the future.
Are you optimistic that that will come?
We politicians have always to be optimistic, and I think with our health commission we have somebody who is really willing to fight HAI and AMR. I am optimistic that we get more money within the next years.