2 months ago

Health in a post-pandemic EU

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  • Vaccines
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As this magazine goes to press, the World Health Organisation has registered just shy of seven million global deaths due to COVID-19. It also has registered over 13.5 billion doses of vaccines administered. When it comes to health, it’s truly an extraordinary period to be alive. And to stay alive, if all works out as it seems to be doing.

WHO CARES? This is a

WHO CARES? This is a human rights issue, we talk about the European social welfare model. So let’s make sure in the first place that we are supporting people in the best possible way.” Alfonso Lara-Montero Within Europe, the split between formal, informal, community, and facility-based care differs from region to region. Homecare services and community-based care are often the most difficult to access, since they are underdeveloped in many countries. Home and community-based services are most developed in the Nordic countries such as Denmark and Finland, while countries in the southern region face insufficient availability of home care provision. One of the consequences of the priority given to home care and community-based provision has been that the availability of residential care has been decreasing in several European countries over the past 25 years. and Policies explored the possibilities of ‘win–win’ politics that produce good outcomes for people of all ages, with a focus on embracing social determinants of health and allowing economic productivity even at old age. In order to keep healthcare systems affordable and sustainable, governments are increasingly taking into consideration the reliance on informal care provided by family members, friends, or neighbours. The assumption is that more emphasis on this type of informal care will eventually alter societal norms towards more family responsibility in care provision, so that people will become more inclined to take care of ageing family members themselves. “This is a human rights issue,” explains Alfonso. “We talk about the European social welfare model. So let’s make sure in the first place that we are supporting people in the best possible way.” That means providing the type and quality of care that best suits the individual – whether that is institutional, community, or informal care. • “A human rights issue” Population ageing is often treated as a threat to the sustainability of health systems. As such, policies are often framed around reducing overall costs and the financial burden to states. In 2021, the Economic Policy Committee produced a set of long-term projections of age-related expenditure, finding that age-related expenditure as a share of GDP is projected to increase in coming years, driven by long term care and healthcare. However, analysis done by the European Observatory on Health Systems Informal care has been estimated to have an economic value equivalent to 50 to 90 percent of the overall cost of long-term care across the EU. Researchers estimated that around 80 percent of all care ceived by people of all ages in the EU is provided by informal carers – of which two thirds are women. Gender inequalities are a constant challenge in health delivery, and even more so in the context of ageing. The devaluation of care work and the fact that women deliver the majority of both paid and unpaid care are as a result of structural power imbalances that should be addressed in policy. About Charles Ebikeme Dr. Charles Ebikeme is a science writer based in London. He holds a PhD in Parasitology and has worked across science and policy. Come for our great range of Volvo cars. Stay for our service and personal attention. Find the Volvo Diplomatic Sales Dealer near you. 1,0 – 8,8 L/100 KM I 23 – 207 G CO 2 /KM (WLTP) Contact your dealer for information about your vehicle taxes. 15 Environmental information RD 19/03/2004:

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