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Investment in Health

The European Commission sets priority in the Social Investment Package


Investing in Health is a key component of the Package. It follows on from the 2013 Annual Growth Survey , which recognizes the contribution of health for a job-rich recovery.

Health is a value in itself. It is also a precondition for economic prosperity . Health spending is ´growth friendly´ expenditure. The Investing in Health paper establishes the role of health as integral to the Europe 2020 strategy. It strengthens the link between EU health policies and national health system reforms and presents the case for:

smart investments for sustainable health systems, investing in people´s health and investing in reducing inequalities in health.

The Social Investment Package builds upon the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion and complements other recent Commission initiatives to address Europe´s social and economic challenges, namely the Employment Package, Youth Employment Package and the White Paper on Pensions. These initiatives have given Member States additional guidance on national reforms needed to honour commitments to the agreed Europe 2020 targets.

According to the OECD, reforms in healthcare could lead to savings of, on average, 2% of GDP by 2017. Getting more value for money through reforms and investments is crucial. EU countries are responsible for the organization and delivery of their own health services and care. They should spend smarter – not necessarily more, to make their healthcare systems more efficient. Efficiency gains can be made by, for example, reducing unnecessary hospitalization and use of specialists, strengthening primary care, encouraging the use of less expensive equivalent (generic) drugs, and using health technology assessment to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of health technologies as a basis for decision making.

Enrolment rates at the age of four in education (2005 and 2010)

The Commission will continue to foster the cooperation among the Member States and efforts to improve the knowledge and evidence at EU level.  The EU Health Program, the Cohesion and Structural Funds, as well as the Research and Innovation Funds (Horizon 2020) can support investment in health all across the European Union.

Commission paper on Investing in Health(223 KB) (February 2013)

Of interest