According to WHO’s definition, Health literacy refers to the ability of individuals to “gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health” for themselves, their families and their communities.
Between 2009-2012 several countries in Europe participated in the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU) project1. A review of the project by the European Commission in 2015 showed that in Europe we need to pay more attention to Health Literacy.
In addition, we are not training our healthcare professionals in the management of low health literacy. In the United States, for instance, there are residency programs, for doctors, as well as for nurses and pharmacists, that already include health literacy within their curriculum.
Should we not work with our decisionmakers to foster appropriate access to appropriate care? There is a lot of work to do to understand the increasing complexity of healthcare, and how to streamline it to achieve equitable health.