European Summit on Chronic Diseases 2014 – Opening Address from the Eurpean Commisioner for Health Tonio Borg

Day two of the European Summit on Chronic Disease took place at the European Commission building in the heart of the EU area of Brussels. The day was held many interesting addresses from Health Ministers from around Europe. Including those from the home nations in the UK. There were also some great diabetes discussions going on at the sidelines of the conference too.

The conference began with a welcome address from Tonio Borg – the European Commissioner for Health. He talked about combating the burden that chronic illness puts on the people living with conditions, such as diabetes within Europe. Borg described that one of the things to remember in wanting to increase people’s life expectancy, is that their extended life should be a healthy one. Not plagued with chronic illness throughout the years, which of course is a risk when people are living longer. He also mentioned the economic benefits of having a longer life expectancy for a population, is that there are financial and economic benefits to having a healthier work force for the country they live in.

The European Commissioner mentioned that the rise of diabetes within the EU could also be linked to the growing rise in obesity amongst the population too. With the problem sometimes resultant from a lack of physical activity, it could help both those at risk and also those already diagnosed to improve their quality of life by participating. Which I wholeheartedly agree with in terms of mass involvement in physical activity, and this was a key message reiterated from many of the other European Health Ministers as well. Physical activity is a massive focus for the future for everyone, whether you have a healthy body but need to avoid chronic illness or if you have an ailment but need to improve your quality of life- exercise should be a key consideration.

Tackling the cause of disease as well as treating the symptoms was a key statement, especially in terms of child obesity. As it has been proven in studies around Europe that obese children have high levels of insulin in their bodies putting them at risk of Type 2 diabetes in later life. There was a very consistent message between the Health Ministers when they all addressed the assembly. Which can only be good for the future of chronic illness in Europe. It was clear that Tonio Borg believed greatly in sharing best practices in order to improve the treatment and management of chronic illness across all member nations, to hopefully result in better quality of life leading to many economic benefits.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.


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