The impact of high living costs and decreasing income available for essential services and goods – such as healthcare – have been widespread. It is currently the most pressing worry for 93% of Europeans, with 39% saying they are facing difficulties paying their bills. In fact, the cost-of-living crisis may increase poverty in the EU by up to 5% above the already persistent poverty level of 21.7% among the general population, and 24.4% among children. This risks widening health inequalities in Europe.
A New EuroHealthNet Policy Précis sets out policies, good practices and concrete recommendations on how to pursue ‘health equity-centred’ social protection and care in face of the rising cost of living.
The new Policy Précis provides an overview of EU policies, tools and programmes that can help governments at all levels strengthen measures to mitigate the negative economic, social and health consequences at individual and societal levels. It provides inspirational examples of how public authorities are taking action to implement more health-promoting social protection and care services.
The eight recommendations given by EuroHealthNet include to:
- Increase political and public health efforts to raise awareness of the need to tackle the mental and physical health consequences and inequalities associated with the cost-of-living crisis.
- Encourage development and implementation of national and sub-national health equity and wellbeing strategies and systematic use of health equity impact assessments.
- Protect public spendings in health and social inclusion from cuts.
- Speed up implementation of the EU legislative actions on minimum wages and minimum income.