Addressing the crisis of tomorrow: the sustainability of European health systems

21 September 2016
Annika Hedberg (Head of Sustainable Prosperity for Europe programme and Senior Policy Analyst) and Philip Hines (Former Programme Assistant at the EPC)

Whilst European leaders and the EU institutions are currently focused on firefighting the economic, refugee and security crises as well as the consequences of the Brexit vote, policy-makers should not turn a blind eye to other challenges, which could turn into the crises of tomorrow. One of these is the sustainability of European health systems. As rising inequalities and people’s fear of losing achieved benefits and prospects for a good life are already creating new societal pressures and disillusionment with policy-makers, it is important that these concerns are addressed head-on also within the health systems. In this Policy Brief, Annika Hedberg and Philip Hines discuss the emerging trends and challenges that are likely to have an increasing impact on health systems and EU citizens in the next decades and call for the EU to recognise the value of health, consider health across policies, and collaborate and use the available instruments when it brings added value to member states and citizens. The aim should be to harness Europe’s diversity and excellence in order to ensure affordable, cost-effective and sustainable delivery of health for all Europeans.

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