Professor Clifford Hughes was speaking in anticipation of the publication of a White Paper published by the International Journal for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) today which discusses the impact of current and impending pressure of ageing populations which will present significant planning and budgetary challenges for global healthcare systems.
Many developed countries are taking steps to organise and provide care and services differently. That being said, significant reforms have not yet been realised. A perception that change will be costly may be a factor that is inhibiting progress.
Countries with rapidly ageing populations (e.g. Japan, Canada and Switzerland) are already adapting, and so offer some valuable insights. Steps such as a reduction of hospital beds and the consequent reallocation of acute care budgets to other areas such as day care and community healthcare and reforms in primary healthcare have begun, including reorganisation into communities of physicians for better coordination and coverage, and to helprein in costs.
Countries not ageing as rapidly (e.g. France, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom) are following in the footsteps of the pacesetters, however, given that their ageing trends are tracking a decade behind, their politicians and healthcare leaders seem slower to respond.
In low and middle income countries there is a growing awareness of the impact of ageing on healthcare. However, this is seen as a longer term issue when considered against the current priorities of expanding access to care and paying for costly new treatments within limited budgets.
In both rich and poor countries alike the real challenge is to balance the needs of the present with those of preparing for the future.
For further information, contact:
Deirdre Burke, International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua)
firstname.lastname@example.org +353 (0) 1 670 6750
Notes to editors:
Health Systems and their sustainability: Dealing with the impending pressures of ageing, chronic and complex conditions, technology and resource constraints prepared on behalf of the Innovation and Systems Change Working Group (I&SCWG) of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). We acknowledge with gratitude the Qatar Symposium participants and the staff and Board of ISQua in supporting the work of the Working Group.
A PDF of the article can be downloaded at: http://www.isqua.org/docs/default-source/Special-Interest-Groups/isquawhitepaper.pdf?sfvrsn=0
Please credit source as International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) in any reports .
The International Society for Quality in Health Care , is a non-profit, independent organisation with Members from over 70 countries. ISQua works to provide services to guide health professionals, providers, researchers, agencies, policy makers and consumers, to achieve excellence in healthcare delivery to all people, and to continuously improve the quality and safety of care.
Last updated on: 18/10/2016
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