Global expenditure on health: Public spending on the rise?
The 2021 Report on global expenditure on health was published in December 2021.
The 2021 Report examines country health spending patterns and trends over the past 20 years, before the COVID-19 pandemic, with greater focus on public spending on health. The report also presents spending on primary health care, preliminary health expenditure in 2020 for a small set of countries (including their health spending on COVID-19) and an analysis of high-income countries spending patterns, in particular during the global financial crisis. The report also points out the need for more public investment in health to get progress towards UHC back on track and strong health security.
State of health in the EU
Luxembourg: Country Health Profile 2021
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The Luxembourg Country Health Profile 2021 was published in December 2021.
The State of Health in the EU cycle is a 2-year process initiated by the European Commission, designed to improve country-specific and European Union (EU)-wide knowledge in the field of health. In this context, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jointly developed Country Health Profiles for all 27 EU Member States and for Iceland and Norway.
These concise and policy-relevant Profiles are based on a transparent, consistent methodology that uses both quantitative and qualitative data, flexibly adapted to the context of each EU Member State. The 2021 editions focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how countries’ health systems responded to various resilience challenges related to mitigation measures, response capacity and governance.
Companion report 2021
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The 2021 Companion Report was published in December 2021.
The Companion report showcases some of the biggest trends in the transformation of health systems. The current edition centres on the resilience of European health systems in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It accompanies the twenty-nine Country Health Profiles drafted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.
The 2021 Companion Report draws three main conclusions. It outlines the direct and indirect health impacts of COVID-19, signaling the long-term and complex impact on health systems across Europe. It includes an analysis of the scale of digital innovations used to ensure better and more efficient healthcare services to citizens. Digital tools for public health have also been established and are now used across the EU, such as the EU Digital COVID certificate as well as contact tracing and warning apps. The third message focuses on the health workforce, and the urgent need to address associated shortages and to think in a comprehensive manner about the needs of healthcare professionals in the future.
Pensions at a glance 2021
OECD and G20 Indicators
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The Pensions at a glance 2021 was published in December 2021.
The 2021 edition of Pensions at a Glance highlights the pension reforms undertaken by OECD countries over the past two years. Moreover, the special chapter focuses on automatic adjustment mechanisms in pensions systems in OECD countries, discusses the usefulness and limitations of these policy instruments, and suggests ways to improve them in order to enhance the capacity of pension systems to fulfil their objectives. This edition also updates information on the key features of pension provision in OECD and G20 countries and provides projections of retirement income for today’s workers. It offers indicators covering the design of pension systems, pension entitlements, the demographic and economic context in which pension systems operate, incomes and poverty of older people, the finances of retirement‑income systems and private pensions.
Health at a glance 2021
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The Health at a Glance 2021 was published in November 2021. The report provides a comprehensive set of indicators on population health and health system performance across OECD members and key emerging economies. The report presents the latest comparable data and trends on different aspects of the performance of health systems in OECD countries, as:
- The health impact of COVID-19
- Life expectancy, mortality and well-being
- Smoking, acohol, obesity and air pollution
- Affordability, availability and use
- Quality and outcomes of care
- Health spending
- Health workforce
- Pharmaceutical sector
- Ageing and long-term care
2021 Pension adequacy report
The 2021 Pension adequacy report was published in June 2021. The report presents every three years, a comparative analysis of the degree to which pension systems in the EU Member States enable older people to retire with an adequate income today and in the future, reflecting pension reforms, as well as underlying changes and current or future challenges in our societies.
The report consists of two volumes. Volume I is devoted to a comparative analysis of pension adequacy in the EU, whereas Volume II (country profiles) provides a detailed discussion of developments in each of the 27 Member States.
The report was prepared by the Social Protection Committee (SPC) and the European Commission.
2021 Ageing Report
Economic & Budgetary Projections for the EU Member States (2019-2070)
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The 2021 Ageing Report was published in May 2021. The report presents updated long term projections of the budgetary impact of the ageing population in the EU Member States and Norway, covering the period 2019-2070. The age-related projections cover pensions, education, health and long-term care.
The report was prepared as part of a mandate the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN Council) gave to the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) in 2018. The EPC mandated the Working Group on Ageing Populations and Sustainability (EPC-AWG) and the Commission services (Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs; DG ECFIN) to discharge this remit.
2021 Annual Report of the Social Protection Committee
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The annual report by the Social Protection Committee (SPC) has been published. The report provides an overview of the impact of the decisive actions taken by Member States to protect employment, income and access to services in response to COVID-19.
The report finds that the widespread positive developments in the social situation up until early 2020 were unfortunately interrupted and even reversed by the pandemic as containment measures were implemented to fight the spread of COVID-19 and protect the lives and livelihoods of citizens. Nevertheless, the social impact of the crisis was mitigated by the range of measures adopted by Member States to protect employment and support household incomes.
- Social protection systems were the main stabilization factor in supporting household incomes.
- Social benefits, including short time working schemes, played a major role in mitigating the overall drop in household incomes in 2020.
- Access to social protection systems was often temporarily eased in order to increase the effectiveness of the systems in protecting those who lost their job or income.
- Although the overall situation has been improving over 2021 as the EU recovers from the crisis, there remains a need to address the longer-term socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
- Social protection systems are expected to remain under pressure in the short and medium term.
- To rebuild from the crisis and prepare better for future emergencies, Member States should continue to prioritize measures to combat poverty and social exclusion, to address rising income inequalities, as well as to enhance the resilience of social protection systems.
- National responses should continue to focus on the situation of the vulnerable and include mechanisms to support them. The European Pillar of Social Rights should continue to guide Member States’ reform efforts and its principles should continue to be systematically implemented.
The report is prepared by the Secretariats of the SPC and its Indicators Sub-Group (ISG). The members of the SPC and its ISG contributed extensively to the drafting of the report and its key messages. In my capacity as chair of the ISG, and bureau member of the SPC, I would like to thank everyone that contributed to this report. The report has been approved by the SPC. The Council of the European Union endorsed the key messages of the report on 15 October 2021
2021 Long-term care in the EU
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Principle 18 of the European Pillar of Social Rights states that everyone has the right to affordable long-term care services of good quality. The EU supports Member States in implementing long-term care policies through EU legislation such as the work-life balance directive, EU funding, monitoring and analysis, as well as mutual learning activities. The 2021 Long-term care report, jointly prepared by the European Commission and the Social Protection Committee, provides a state of play of long-term care provision and key challenges across the EU. It provides also a first analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.