Healthcare must be people-centred and valued as a social investment, not a 'cost', concluded a conference organised by the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC at the House of Europe in Stockholm on 25 May 2023. For this to happen it is necessary to change mindsets socially, economically and politically.
Inaugural speech at the conference 'Health, Care and Prosperity after Covid-19: Swedish and European Perspectives', Stockholm, 25 May 2023
Persistent health inequalities are a huge factor behind the twofold higher mortality rate of people with disabilities, who on average die 10 to 20 years earlier than people without a disability. At the top of the list of barriers creating such inequalities are exorbitant treatment costs, inaccessible transport and health facilities, and stigma – but also a healthcare workforce that lacks proper training on disability issues.
The European Commission's proposal for a comprehensive European care strategy that should guarantee to all Europeans the possibility of receiving high quality healthcare and care service throughout their lifetime has been met with approval by the EESC
The technical limit value for asbestos exposure should ultimately be set at a lower level than the Commission is currently proposing in a recent Directive regulating the protection of workers from dangers of occupational asbestos exposure, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said in an opinion adopted at its plenary session in December.
Europe's care sector will be barely capable of responding to the growing care demands of its ageing population. It is in dire need of major investments and a shift in policy-making, which should ensure that care workers are properly paid, have regulated working hours and receive adequate support. To achieve this, EU action will not be enough, and political will at national level will be crucial, an EESC hearing said.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on the EU and Member States to implement more concrete measures to support the health, housing and financial needs of the growing number people taking on long-term caregiving responsibilities of a family member.
In an own-initiative opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called for the EU to adopt a comprehensive approach to providing more support and faster treatment for rare disease patients.