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Healthy Life Expectancy and EU Policy

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1 Healthy Life Expectancy and EU Policy
Clare Siddall European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection Health Strategy Unit AHEAD Final Conference Brussels, June 2006

2 Taskforce on Health Expectancies
Aim – to discuss the methodology and use of the Healthy Life Years indicator (and other developments in the field of structural health indicators) Commission, MS and experts meet several times per year Led by the EHEMU project – European Health Expectancy Monitoring Unit More information:

3 The Healthy Life Years Indicator (HLY)
Used to distinguish between years of life free of any activity limitation and years experienced with at least one activity limitation Measured using the Sullivan method Introduced as a Lisbon Indicator in 2005

4 The Lisbon Strategy European Council Conclusions, Lisbon 2000:
‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world’ ‘capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’ ‘Investing in people and developing an active and dynamic welfare state will be crucial both to Europe’s place in the knowledge economy… …and for ensuring that the emergence of this new economy does not compound the existing social problems of unemployment, social exclusion and poverty’

5 Health Means Wealth Source: M. Suhrcke, M. McKee, R. Sauto Arce, S. Tsolova, J. Mortensen The contribution of health to the economy in the EU, Brussels 2005

6 a more competitive economy
Health Means Wealth Healthier citizens reduce strain on healthcare systems – Health systems account for 9% of GDP in the EU Member States But also: Healthy Adults: more likely to be in the workforce more productive work and live longer and save more for retirement Healthy Children: better schooling outcomes and education less school absenteeism and early drop-out a more competitive economy

7 HLY and Public Spending
Due to ageing, health care spending is expected to rise between 1 and 2% GDP in most Member States. However, if healthy life years increase at the same rate as life expectancy, this cost could be cut by 50%. (ECFIN)




11 Health Policy 1: Promotion and Prevention Across the Lifecycle
The Commission supports work specifically on ageing e.g. through funding projects and sharing best practice But, poor health in old age is often the result of a lifetime of poor nutrition, smoking, lack of physical activity etc – we need a lifecycle approach Examples of action – European Platform for Action on Diet and Physical Activity – involving public, private and voluntary sector EU level Strategies on Nutrition, Alcohol, Mental Health Tobacco HELP! campaign increasing awareness of risks

12 Health Policy 2: Health Services Initiative
A new initiative to develop an EU framework for safe, high quality and efficient health services – due to be adopted later in 2007 2 pillars: - improving legal certainty about application of Community law on health services - support for Member States in areas where EU action can add value to national action Effective Investment can increase Healthy Life Years – but governments need reliable evidence to support action

13 Health Policy 3: Health In All Policies
Making health a strong partner in key cross-cutting EU policies “Health is Wealth” Emphasising the economic benefits of health can be a key means of engaging with other policies Lisbon Agenda - inclusion of Healthy Life Years indicator health addressed in some Member States’ National Lisbon Programmes Structural Funds – more funding of health-related projects Sustainable Development Strategy – greater health focus (previously mainly environmentally focused) Demographic Change – links between health, social and economic policies

14 Healthy Ageing in all Policies
Education Innovation and E-health Research FPs Employment Policies Sustainable Development Healthy Ageing Policies Economic Policy (Lisbon Agenda) Pensions Regional Development

15 Evaluating the Uptake of the HLY indicator
Rand Europe evaluation December 2006 Survey of awareness and use of HLY indicator since 2005 Findings – limited awareness and use in non-health sectors at EU and national level Recommendations – further work on HIAP including in forthcoming Health Strategy

16 European Community Health Strategy
Aims: Coherent framework with clear objectives for health policy at EU level Renewed approach to -Key issues where EU can offer added value -Health in all Policies -Global Health Structured implementation and monitoring mechanism Adoption planned for autumn 2007

17 Conclusions EU policies need to be supported by solid research and comparable data HLY will be used to measure progress of the Strategy Commission welcomes continued work on health expectancies in cooperation with the Taskforce

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