European Added Value

Europeanisation of therapeutical approaches is a very important means of standardisation of health care matters across the continent. Today, there is talk of the need to make a concentrated effort in this direction, but some national administrations are yet to be totally convinced of the compelling inevitability of this approach. Using the federating power of surgeons working together across frontiers on identical cases will add substantial momentum to this essential topic of European health care.
Integration of those teams which are today's definition carriers of tomorrow's training, teaching and accreditation will make sure that any orientation presently envisaged will be implemented in the pedagogical thought at the foundation of academic acceptance. As accreditation and capacitation concepts will be introduced over the coming years in the faculty-offered teaching and in the post-graduate permanent training, it is obvious that European standards must be defined and applied as soon as possible if the continent wants to keep its medical excellence and identity.
Several national medical associations and societies, but mainly the EAES (European Association of Endoscopic Surgeons) are on the verge of defining criteria applying to these concepts, so it was important to include some main players, national and/or European, in the clinical partners to allow for bilateral enrichment.

The added-value of TESUS for the EU concerning health care comprises not only of its teleteaching and teletraining aspects as well as the standardisation of therapeutical approaches, but it will make, through this web of interconnected hospitals, Europe a safer place for its citizen-patients, as they will be in a position to get the best possible care available.

Why not envisage the Old Continent as keeper of Hippocrates' flame of providing assistance to the destitute, as well as the on-going light in a high technological surgical technique that was born in Europe?

The momentum is right now considerable in the medical community for this kind of co-operation, it should not be lost. Last but not least in these aspects of telemedicine, all these developments are applicable in any other medical speciality, as it must be stressed that the surgical surroundings are the most constraining on the technology. It will be quite easy to develop on these teletransmission concepts say a European Diabetes Group, an Infectious Disease Watch or even a Migrant Population Pathology Databank, all important tools in modern health care.

As was previously mentioned, the standardisation of initial training by imposing accreditation procedures should be regarded as the mandatory evolution in medical and surgical university studies. Just the same, standardisation of permanent education in form of a capacitation should be considered a keystone to Europe's professional future. It is not in these pages that these Education Policy aspects shall be analysed and commented, but it must be stressed that the participating University Hospitals host each some of the most listened-to surgical experts in the field of laparoscopic surgery - telesurgery.

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Universitätsrechenzentrum Basel / Dieter Glatz