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11/24/16

EU Healthcare: Bad health: EU buries billions with 550,000 premature deaths due to chronic disease

A joint OECD/European Commission report says chronic diseases and premature deaths cost the EU billions every year. It calls for better prevention policies and improved health care. So what else is new?

Health reports seldom say anything new. There's the obligatory risk factors - smoking, alcohol and obesity - and an equally standard call for better prevention policies and improved healthcare systems. Let's face it: We could all live a bit more healthily.

Such is the mainline in "Health at a Glance: Europe 2016," a joint report launched Wednesday (23.11.2016) by the OECD and the European Commission in Brussels.

But what's striking about this report is the human cost of Europe's failing health.

The report estimates that about 550,065 people of working-age (25-64 years) in the European Union die prematurely from chronic diseases. It could be a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, or a form of cancer. And their dying early, says the report, costs the EU 115 billion euros annually.

Note EU-Digest: another issue not discussed in this report, which certainly must be seen as a part of the problem, is that in some countries, like the Netherlands, where insurance programs have been  privatized and the insurance premium costs have continuously been on the rise for the consumer, people have not been going to the Dr. or hospital for preventive care, mainly because of personal economic reasons.

For the complete report Read more: Bad health: EU buries billions with 550,000 premature deaths due to chronic disease | Science | DW.COM | 23.11.2016

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