The work with the Bone and Joint Decade is well underway in many countries by now. In Sweden the practical work is led by a small 5 person steering group and as a complement to this there is a foundation used to gather funds for the project. There is also a larger reference group whose opinions and ideas are tapped every once in a while. In this group there are representatives from the rheumatologists as well as orthopaedics, other health professionals but also patients.
In this short summary the activities undertaken on part of the Bone and Jone Decade in Sweden will not be listed. Our intention is to cease every opportunity to spread the message, different conferences for doctors and health professionals, and in the patient societies but it also gives us a good opportunity to spread information through the media and directly to decision makers at different levels.
The main benefits of the work with the decade are the following: It increases co-operation between the patients and doctors and all the health professionals. The decade also puts focus on the need for more co-operation between the different disciplines within medicine, which is of great importance.
In order to lessen the suffering and bring down the costs for the individual as well as societies we must spread information and influence politicians.
In the other Nordic countries the work has been organised in a somewhat different manner and as the chair of the Nordic Rheuma Council (www.nrr.nu) I will take the liberty of giving some examples from the other Nordic countries in the cases where they are not speaking of this themselves.
At a purely Nordic level the Nordic Rheuma Council has been active and has managed to get the Committee for Nordic Affairs inside the Nordic Council, a body made up of Nordic parliamentarians, to urge the Nordic governments to all sign the declaration of the Bone and Joint Decade.