Open Access Peer-reviewed Commentary

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Mariano Votta corresponding author
Bianca Ferraiolo


The recent pandemic seriously affected national health systems worldwide. The focus of the 2021 edition of the European Patients’ Rights Day was on patient organizations’ concrete reactions to it, offering answers to people and actions that should be put in place in order to have more resilient healthcare systems, starting from the 14 rights stated in the European Charter of Patients’ Rights. From their experiences emerged the great reforming force of civic organizations and Patient Advocacy Groups, capable of responding promptly to new needs by managing services, building alliances, quickly signalling necessary normative or procedural changes, mobilizing resources (both human and economic), introducing and promoting practices from which it will not be necessary to go back when everything is over. We still perceive the urgent need to better address the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Evidence collected during the crisis show that Covid-19 has had a significant impact – for instance - on Non-Communicable Diseases. Indeed, oncological and chronic patients have been left almost alone for several months. Rather than recalling the impact of Covid, the 15th European Patients’ Rights Day wanted to highlight actions and reactions that have civic & patients' organizations as protagonists: actions realized despite the pandemic and reactions put in place to mitigate its impact.

Patient Advocacy Groups, civic activism, patients’ rights, resilience, healthcare systems, Covid-19

Article Details

Supporting Agencies
The European conference of the XV European Patients’ Rights Day has been realized thanks to the unconditional support of F. Hoffmann-La Roche LTD, Teva Europe, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH and Viatris.
How to Cite
Votta, M., & Ferraiolo, B. (2021). Actions and re-actions of civic society and Patients Advocacy Groups across Europe during Covid-19 pandemic: Sharing good practices for more resilient Health Care Systems. Advances in Health and Behavior, 4(1), 164-170.


  1. The XV European Patients’ Rights Day.
  2. Active Citizenship Network.
  3. Cittadinanzattiva
  4. The G20.
  5. the Global Health Summit 2021.
  6. Manifesto for a European Health Union.
  7. State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary.
  8. The European Charter of Patients’ Rights basis document.
  9. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
  10. Council Conclusions on Common values and principles in European Union Health Systems.
  11. Some examples of the previous editions of the European Patients’ Rights Day: 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018.
  12. Active Citizenship Network “International & national celebrations for the European Patients’ Rights Day”.
  13. The first European Patients’ Rights Day.
  14. European Parliament resolution of 15 March 2007 on Community action on the provision of crossborder healthcare.
  15. Active Citizenship Network “The European Charter of Patients’ Rights”.
  16. Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘Patients’ rights’.
  17. The experience of the Hellenic Cancer Federation (ELLOK).
  18. The Hellenic Cancer Federation (ELLOK).
  19. The European Cancer Patient Coalition.
  20. The experience of the Ligue contre l’ob´esit´e.
  21. Ligue contre l’ob´esit´e.
  22. The experience of Women Against Lung Cancer in Europe (WALCE) Onlus.
  23. Women Against Lung Cancer in Europe (WALCE) Onlus.
  24. The European Program for Routine testing of Patients with Advanced lung cancer (EPROPA).
  25. Experience of the Plataforma de Organizaciones de Pacientes.
  26. Plataforma de Organizaciones de Pacientes.
  27. Associac¸ ˜ao de Apoio Domicili´ario de Lares and Casas de Repouso de Idosos (ALI).
  28. Cittadinanzattiva APS, “Codice di Condotta”.
  29. Addressing non-covid patients: COVID-19 lessons learned for more resilient Health Care Systems. 10 Concrete recommendations towards a European Health Union.