COVID-19 uncovered many of the ways that our care systems, such as child care and long-term care, are dysfunctional. Most EU Member States still rely on models that lean heavily on undervalued and underpaid carers and perpetuate health and socioeconomic inequalities. This leaves countries unprepared to meet today’s and future challenges. Alternative approaches to care are out there.
Ahead of the launch of the imminent European Care Strategy, EuroHealthNet today publishes a Policy Précis that sets out models of ‘health-promoting’ care. Such models value care workers and empower those who need care, such as children, older people and those with chronic diseases or disabilities. They strengthen collaboration across sectors, and encourage and enable people to become more socially engaged, and to participate in the formal economy, thereby contributing to an ‘Economy of Wellbeing’.
Europeans expect to receive, high-quality, publicly provided care services, when needed. There are nevertheless clear inequalities in access to such services. This Policy Précis explores how current care models perpetuate inequalities (gender, as well as socioeconomic) amongst both the providers and recipients of care. It sets out how 'health-promoting' models of care can offer a solution.
The Policy Précis provides an overview of EU policies, tools and programmes that can help governments at all levels strengthen the organisation of care and transition to delivery of care models that promote health, equity and wellbeing. Beyond the imminent European Care Strategy, other EU added-value strategic instruments are laid out - these include the European Pillar of Social Rights, strategies on child wellbeing, disability rights, and the digital future.
The Policy Précis also showcases inspirational examples from public authorities in Austria, Slovenia and Andalusia (Spain), which are turning policy into concrete and impactful action.
"A main challenge in providing care for children and families is proper coordination between all health, social and education services involved. The Andalusian Model for Early (Childhood) Intervention facilitates a coordinated response to care needs by setting mechanisms for collaboration and establishing communication channels"
- Dr. María Luisa del Moral Leal
General Secretary of Humanization, Planning, Social and Health Care and Consumer Affairs,
Regional Ministry of Health & Consumer Affairs of Andalusia, Spain
Providing care through models that promote the health and wellbeing of providers and recipients of care alike should be at the heart of a European Care Strategy. EuroHealthNet will continue to gather expertise and best practices, setting out the best approaches to provide health-promoting care at the (sub)-national level. This will help all governments to deliver, optimally, on citizens' right to care, as set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights.