After several years of work lead by Neuropozytywni Foundation, the Polish Brain Plan has been kicked off at the meeting marking the World Brain Day in Warsaw on July 22. It is the second comprehensive strategy to address brain health after the launch of the Norwegian Brain Plan a year and half ago.
It follows the call made at the “Healthy Brain: Healthy Europe” conference organized in Dublin during the Irish Presidency to the EU in 2013 as well as a call to action launched in Brussels by European and Polish Brain Councils in 2015. Both were calling for development of EU national strategies addressing brain health in a comprehensive and collaborative way.
The Polish plan was drafted in collaboration with the Polish Brain Council, Polish Neurological Society, Lazarski University and DZP law firm. No support was received from the Polish Government up to that point.
The document focuses on three priority areas:
- A need to introduce the definition of brain diseases into the Polish health care system and prioritize actions aimed at improving the quality of care for patients affected by brain ill-health
- Enhanced cooperation between relevant ministries and introduction of coordinated care model, early diagnosis and access to best therapies available
- Invest in effective preventive strategies to improve brain health
With the robust strategy put in place, it is now essential that the Polish government works with the authors to implement it.
Meanwhile, other countries are also interested in developing similar strategies. To this end, at the National Brain Councils (NBCs) Academy that was held in Dubrovnik on May 2019 the outcome of a survey held amongst the NBCs, highlighting “Ten priorities for national brain plans”, was presented. This document, published in the Croatian Medical Journal (CMJ, April 2019), introduces 10 priorities presented as the basis for developing National Brain Plans in Europe. The publication builds on the results of the “Questionnaire on the state of national brain health care” that was carried out among NBCs during the first half of 2018.
The results are based on a limited number of responses and therefore authors are seeking to broaden the consultation. In this view, the proposed 10 priorities represent a good starting point to engage the discussion with a larger audience merging all the components of brain research at large. This will help to collect the higher number of answers which will allow to have a more comprehensive vision of needs of the community. This, in turn, will be fundamental to provide accurate input for policy recommendations applicable across European countries.
The questionnaire that was originally used can be accessed here and EFNA members are invited to contribute by filling it in by 31st August 2019.