Europe Puts the Elderly on the Agenda

(Via Google Translate)

Political strategies for dealing with aging societies are the focus of an EU forum. In view: healthy aging in Europe.

Increasing digital literacy in the European healthcare sector has been requested by Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General Health of the European Commission, at the first high-level EU forum on the Silver Economy, which has been meeting in Helsinki for two days since Tuesday.

Finland’s Prime Minister Antti Rinne pointed out that in the coming years, despite the migration, working people in the EU will shrink by ten percent and demographic change will be stronger.

In times of a shortage of skilled workers, it is important to rely on digital support in order to make processes more efficient and effective. Rinne cited the advantages of an intersectoral electronic patient record as an example.

Flexible working models called for

As Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director Europe, pointed out, Europe needs a growth agenda that focuses on sustainability. Here, too, unequal living conditions within the EU have to be considered.

In order to level these out, a sustainable and targeted investment strategy with a focus on digitization and artificial intelligence is required. A central area here is the health service, said Jakab with reference to supporting systems such as care robots.

In view of the WHO decade of healthy aging, which begins next year, Jakab demanded not only political and economic commitment, but also “intergenerational solidarity”.

In her video message to the forum, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), called for more flexible working models.

Many people wanted to retire in (forced) retirement – including women. “Use the advantages of this workforce”, Lagarde appealed to business and politics.

No path leads past digitization

Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General Health of the EU Commission, called the chronic diseases the biggest challenge on the way to healthy aging. For a better disease management and thus more patient empowerment, there is no way around digitization.

However, this requires a stronger digital competence – both on the part of patients and on the part of service providers in medicine and care. “Healthy aging is a clear advantage of Europe,” Seychell advocated a coordinated approach.

Michael Hodin, CEO of Global Coalition on Aging, called on all companies worldwide to adopt an aging workforce strategy in Helsinki. It is urgently necessary to create a “silver market” by 2050, which is geared to the needs of the long-lived.

Source: ÄrzteZeitung

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