Coinciding with EPHA’s Annual Conference 2012 (June 6th) entitled Restructuring health systems: How to promote health in times of austerity?, EPHA releases Two Briefing Notes (1st) on the roots, foundations and impact of the current economic downturn; (2nd) and how it is hitting Europe’s public health at all levels.
You can download the two briefings
The economic crisis.
The current economic crisis is viewed by many as the deepest recession in Europe since the 1930s. Its size and extent are exceptional. Yet, many aspects and features of the current crisis share similarities with features of other financial-stress related crises in history. What sets apart the current crisis from others in the past however is the global dimension attached to it. Despite the severity of the situation, it is believed, that without a forceful response by central banks, governments and supra-national authorities, the situation today might deteriorate further.
EPHA facts and figures on the impact of the financial crisis on health.
. Effects on employment - In the United Kingdom, one in five people aged 16-25 is out of work - compared to 7.9% in the general population. It is particularly worrying, as young unemployed people have a higher risk of developing mental health problems.
. Increase in suicides - Greece saw a 17% increase in suicides since 2008 and 55% of Greek men reported mental health problems.
. Decreases in health budgets - in France, the government expects to reduce spending by €2.4 billion on the health insurance side - 40% of the reductions will be made through pro-generics policies and savings on medicines and medical devices.
. Measures taken to reduce costs - In Greece, the maximum price of generic medicines cannot exceed 40% of their equivalent branded drugs.
This 2nd briefing note also includes facts and figures on the following themes: closing of hospitals; effects of the crisis on health professionals; and the cutting of services.