In the next few decades, the proportion of elderly people in EU countries is set to rise fast, while the proportion of working-age people will fall significantly. Although enabling people to live longer is a major achievement, ageing populations also present significant challenges to European economies and welfare systems. The demographic transition is viewed as one of the biggest challenges facing the EU.
Age-related changes will have an impact on
- long-term healthcare
- unemployment transfers
- various EU-level policy debates.
- The 2015 Ageing Report: Economic and budgetary projections for the 28 EU Member States (2013-2060) (May 2015)
- The 2015 Ageing Report: Underlying Assumptions and Projection Methodologies (November 2014)
Health care and long term care
Health care and long-term care systems aim at providing timely access to good quality medical care and enable people to live independently also through provisions of social care, such as for patients with disabilities. This contributes to human well-being and economic prosperity and will be crucial for longer working lives in the context of an ageing society.
Demographic ageing will have a major impact on health care and long-term care spending. Given the scale of public expenditure on health care and long-term care, the topic is at the centre of the policy debate on how to keep public finances sustainable in future.
Public expenditure on health care and long-term care depends on several factors affecting the supply of and demand for care.
Demand-side factors include:
- population size
- age and gender distribution
- health & disability status
- individual & national wealth
- rules regulating access to healthcare goods & services
Supply side factors include:
- availability and accessibility of services
- patients' expectations
- technological development
- the regulatory framework
- Joint Report on Health Care and Long-Term Care Systems & Fiscal Sustainability (October 2016)
- Cost-Containment Policies in Hospital Expenditure in the European Union (September 2016)
- Fiscal Sustainability Report 2015 (January 2016)
- Efficiency estimates of health care systems (June 2015)