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Health care

Guaranteeing access to high-quality health care is a key objective of social protection systems in EU countries – and it represents the second largest social expenditure item after pensions. Health care systems face the challenge of ageing populations and increasing needs, which can also result from non-demographic factors, such as the emergence of new (often expensive) treatments.

In spite of near-universal coverage of health insurance or national health systems, there are still major health inequalities across countries and regions, as well as across socio-economic groups.

The EU promotes cooperation among EU countries in this area through the open method of coordination, focusing in particular on access, quality and sustainability.

 

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