RETHINKING HEALTHCARE TO BOOST WORK PRODUCTIVITY
Encouraging the implementation of workplace-based healthcare solutions is sound public policy. To cite just one telling figure: an OECD study estimates that for every year of increase in a population’s life expectancy, GDP could go up as much as 4%. Helping people live longer, healthier lives builds wealth for everyone.
Employers can become partners in patient empowerment and patient-centric care. Together, they can cooperate in a range of both preventive and early-intervention actions ranging from health literacy to tele-commuting programs.
To achieve these solutions, there are three strategic approaches.
• Prevention and early intervention: investment on all levels in preventing diseases and in treating them in their earliest stages is much less costly than long-term, complex and expensive care. It is critical to significantly increase the share of healthcare budgets dedicated to prevention; they range today from 1% to 3% of national health spending on average.
• Empowering citizens to take responsibility for their own health by making better lifestyle choices and becoming active participants in their own in personal data collection, monitoring and treatment regimes.
• Reorganising healthcare delivery: by putting the patient at the centre of healthcare delivery, for example, by offering patients integrated care, by developing new pathways to care and by shifting care from hospitals to home and community care.
Investing in Health, EU Commission Staff Working Document, Social Investment Package, February 2014.
The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: a production function approach, World Development, Vol. 32.No 1; Bloom, Canning, Sevilla, (2004)
EU White Paper
Bloom, Canning and Sevilla (2004), The Effect of Health on Economic Growth; a production function approach, World Development, Vol. 32, No 1, cited in Investing in Health, Commission Staff Working Document, Social Investment Package, February 2013
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.