Care homes: cost of increased private provision could become barrier to user access unless subsidies rise
With people living longer, the need for affordable care of high quality to support Europe’s population increases. In recent years, the Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) have repeatedly emphasized the need to contain costs in long term care in order to ensure their sustainability. Yet no harmonised data exists at the European level to accurately map public and private providers of care homes for older people and to assess whether nursing homes and residential care are increasingly becoming a business as a result of the gap left by the cuts in public services during the crisis.
Eurofound’s new report Care homes for older Europeans: Public, private and not-for-profit providers is the most comprehensive exercise to date to gather all available data across Member States. The report provides a picture of the quality, accessibility and efficiency of services. Over the last ten years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of private care homes, which has doubled in Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. At the same time, the number of public care homes is either decreasing or growing at a slower pace, with the exception of Malta and Spain, where the number of public homes is increasing faster than private ones. There is a need to agree definitions about public, for-profit and non-profit provision, taking into account legal status, ownership and economic activity of providers.
As demand increases so too does the challenge to maintain public funding and spending for long-term care, which may ultimately lead to higher co-payments from service users. Some countries already have schemes in place to limit the percentage of a service user’s assets that can be used. With results differing between studies and between countries, this report provides a starting point for further research which could ultimately pave the way for reforms that meet the demands of Europe's ageing population.
Latest News from
Council and Parliament reach provisional agreement on new EU waste rules18/12/2017 16:25:00
The Estonian presidency hasreached a provisional agreement with representatives of the European Parliament on all four legislative proposals of the waste package.
Europe – the continent of solidarity18/12/2017 15:25:00
Statement on the occasion of International Migrant Day
European Council meetings of 14 and 15 December 201718/12/2017 14:10:00
Remarks by President Jean-Claude Juncker following the European Council meetings of 14 and 15 December 2017
Modified-release paracetamol-containing products to be suspended from EU market18/12/2017 13:15:00
The CMDh has endorsed, by majority, a European Medicines Agency recommendation to suspend marketing of modified- or prolonged-release products containing paracetamol (designed to release paracetamol slowly over a longer period than the usual immediate-release products).