The patient journey: a report of skin cancer care across Europe.
There are poorly documented variations in the journey a skin cancer patient will follow from diagnosis to treatment in the European Union. To investigate the possible difficulties or obstacles that a person with a skin malignancy in the European Union may have to overcome in order to receive adequate medical screening and care for his/her condition. In addition, we wished to explore differences in European health systems, which may lead to health inequalities and health inequities within Europe. Ten European countries took part in this investigation (in alphabetical order): Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Romania, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.K. The individual participants undertook local and national enquiries within their own country and completed a questionnaire. This exercise has identified important differences in the management of a skin cancer patient, reflecting major disparities in health care between European countries. Further investigation of health disparities and efforts to address health inequalities should lead to improvements in European health care quality and reduction in morbidity from skin cancer. © 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists.