What is your day-to-day work like? I work at the Hospital San Joan de Déu in Barcelona. I’m a paediatric nurse specialising in supporting young patients – up to the age of 18 years old - with Type 1 diabetes. I am particularly focused on providing knowledge and support for diabetes management, as well as psychological and emotional support to patients and their families. How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? My...

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What is your day-to-day work like? How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? I work in Ljubljana University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia and I’m head of the Paediatric Trauma Unit. I studied and received my medicine degree in the same city, in Ljubljana University. I’ve specialised in orthopaedic trauma for 16 years. Caring for an injured child requires special knowledge, precise management and great attention-to-detail. An injured child has unique needs and a multidisciplinary approach is needed to deal with the emotional as well as the medical needs of the child. But the majority of my work involves adult trauma patients and my focus in particular is on elbow, hand and wrist trauma and reconstructions. It’s a busy, challenging role with complicated procedures, especially when it’s a poly-trauma patient with severe and multiple injuries. Every injury creates a different amount of stress: physical and psychological. If there is a severe injury to a part of the body or to multiple parts, the patient’s health status is not the same as it was before. My job as a trauma surgeon is to improve and to regenerate the function of the injured part of the body as close as possible to what it was previously. So with different treatment modalities I strive to improve the patients live. This can be done diversely : with non-operative or a surgical treatment, depending on the type of injury. What do you think are the challenges facing the healthcare system and your profession in particular? The line of work we carry out is very complex and demanding. Having a team that can take into account the specificities of the injured patient is key, as well as supporting the family who are facing considerable emotional turmoil and worry. A high-level of education...
What is your day-to-day work like? I’m the head of a busy Department in a University Hospital in Bratislava and I’m also the Secretary General of IFOS - the International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies. My department is dealing with both inpatient and outpatient care. We are also a teaching hospital so aside from dealing with patients with ear, nose and throat disorders, I’m kept busy upskilling students and providing young doctors with specialised training in Otorhinolaryngology –head and neck practice (ORL). I’m also involved in different research initiatives so when there’s a deadline for a research grant in my field of business this can be quite demanding on my time, finalising research submission with my team. How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? Rhinology conditions - nose and sinus diseases, infections, inflammatory conditions and tumours - affect a huge segment of the population, particularly if you consider the amount of people affected by allergies. We carry out a number of surgical procedures relieving patients of their sinus problems. One of the most challenging areas of our work is treating those patients with head and neck tumours. We work with a multidisciplinary team to carry out sophisticated and highly complex surgeries. Another area is helping patients with congenital hearing loss. This is another very complicated area, particularly for children with hearing impairments. To be able to carry out life-changing surgery and provide patients with an implant and thus the opportunity to hear again: it’s hugely rewarding. Indeed, by implanting a cochlear implant in the ear of a child, you are forever connected to that child and their family, right through to their adult lives. You can see them grow and develop and enjoy a happy and successful life as they return for check-ups, not impaired or...
What is your day-to-day work like? I work in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Charles University Faculty of Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, specializing in cataract surgery, refractive surgery, the treatment of retinal diseases and laser corneal surgery, amongst others. In fact, I carry out over 2000 cataract surgeries a year. I also deal with some of the most complex cases in the Czech Republic. I’m also focused on spreading my knowledge and educating the next generation of doctors specializing in eye conditions and care and I’ve been working internationally too, working with the American Academy of Ophthalmology for example, as well as co-operating with innovative companies to share experiences and advance research and knowledge. How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? Eyesight is a precious gift. I may not save people’s lives physically by my work but I certainly help to improve and even transform people’s lives. I will never refuse any patient, whatever age, background or complexity, and will do my utmost to restore their sight. What challenges face the healthcare system? The major challenge facing healthcare is the enlarging gap between the advances in medicine and the costs involved. This is only set to increase as the demographics change. Indeed, age-related conditions are harder to solve. Healthcare systems will face huge problems trying to cope with older patients with neurodegenerative diseases for example, or Alzheimer’s. There needs to also be a major focus on addressing the treatment inequalities facing patients. Treatment should not be limited to only a few but to all and the latest in technology should ideally be available. What role do you see for medical technologies to address these challenges? Diagnostic tests can help to address these challenges, allowing people to be diagnosed early and accurately and therefore...
What are the main day-to-day challenges that the patients you represent face? More than 10 million people in Europe have cancer and there are many day-to-day challenges, primarily related to the way the disease of the patient is managed and how patients cope with the issues related to the disease. What medical technologies are relevant for cancer patients? Cancer patients and therefore ECPC are very well aware surgery and radiotherapy are cornerstones to treating cancer patients and the advancements made in recent years have been crucial in improving survival. The continuous evolution of these technologies is of primary importance for cancer patients, not only to increase outcome, but also to decrease toxicity levels, cut rehabilitation time and overall improve patients’ quality-of-life. What has been most helpful in allowing you to carry on with your everyday life? mHealth plays an important role in providing new solutions to old problems. In particular, patient-reported outcomes have been greatly improved through advances in mHealth, making communications between patients and healthcare professionals easier and faster. The patient-friendly approach to many of these technologies can greatly enhances the cancer patient journey. We appreciate the EU’s and other stakeholders’ increasing focus on eHealth, but we need concrete advances on the implementation side and sustained investments. We do not see mhealth and eHealth as revolutions, but as evolutions: better and faster ways to solve old problems and provide better outcomes for patients. Do you think the patients you represent have enough access to optimal care and that your members know enough about what is available to support you? Absolutely not! Access to essential cancer treatments varies considerably from country-to-country and region-to-region but in general access to optimal care is a major issue. For example, more than 65% of cancer patients in Romania who should have access to some...
What is your day-to-day work like? I work at the Hospital San Joan de Déu in Barcelona. I’m a paediatric nurse specialising in supporting young patients – up to the age of 18 years old - with Type 1 diabetes. I am particularly focused on providing knowledge and support for diabetes management, as well as psychological and emotional support to patients and their families. How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? My position primarily involves motivating my patients and inspiring them to take control of their health. It’s an interesting but challenging role; as my patients are both very young children and teenagers I need to be sensitive to their emotional well-being when helping them and their parents manage their condition. Having a condition like Type 1 diabetes can be a lot for a young person to handle; I support them and their family from the time they are diagnosed, advising them on how to maintain a healthy diet, particularly ensuring their intake of carbohydrates is controlled, and their glucose and insulin levels regularly monitored. I also help to equip them with coping skills, keep them motivated and active, and empower them with the knowledge they need to get on with their life and back to school, friends and hobbies. That’s all part and parcel of the work I do, every day. What do you think are the top challenges facing your profession? Helping patients to integrate into daily life despite their condition is vital but not easy. I am dedicated to helping improve their quality-of-life but it’s is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. I’m dealing with children and adolescents from all walks and backgrounds and this is a challenge. The position I hold is quite specialised, combining clinical expertise as a diabetes paediatric nurse with...
What is your day-to-day work like? How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? My work is divided into four main parts: firstly, research (both clinical and applied) to document the effectiveness of medical technologies and identify how we can improve the outcomes for different groups of patients through certain devices. Secondly, I have direct consultations with patients through my work at the clinic. At the Centre we run one of the biggest Auditory Implant programs in the world having the largest globally group of patients under our care. I take on some of the most difficult cases and I aim to improve fitting of auditory implants on patients in order to achieve the best outcomes for them. Thirdly, education: I teach clinical engineering and hearing science at the university. Finally, naturally, my work also entails a lot of paperwork. What do you think are the top three challenges facing the healthcare system and your profession in particular? I think that the following three challenges are equally important to the healthcare system and to my profession: costs, lack of awareness and lack of education. The cost of new technologies is a constant struggle to the system. This is true for the different groups of patients, including completely and partially deaf people as well. Over 360 million people suffer from hearing disabilities worldwide, many of whom are from low income countries. They often do not get to benefit from the latest technologies. There is also a lack of awareness about new technologies among different healthcare professionals. We will need to equip more specialties with the knowledge about these technologies and spread this knowledge further in other clinical jobs. The technologies we have are powerful, but they are also complex. We will need to educate healthcare professionals on...