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Mental health problems affect about 84 million people in the EU, according to the latest estimates from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. That’s more than one in six people facing problems that range from anxiety to depression to drug and alcohol addiction, as well as severe mental illnesses like bipolar or schizophrenic disorders.

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Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective means of preventing illness and death, particularly in children. Yet, more than 22 million babies born worldwide each year–four times the number of births in Europe–go unvaccinated, leaving them at risk of contracting, and potentially dying from, vaccine-preventable diseases like measles. 

The growing burden of healthcare expenditure on public budgets is hardly a recent phenomenon. For 15 years before the onset of the financial crisis, health spending per capita had been going up by over 4% per year in real terms across the OECD area–much faster than growth in real incomes. Nearly all OECD countries will soon have nearuniversal healthcare coverage–an historic achievement.

Healthcare must be maintained as an essential public good

“Obesity is one of the foremost public health emergencies of our time.”

Interviews of leaders of Portugal healthcare private sector.

Economic data

GDP growth: +0.5% Q2 2019 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 1.6% September 2019 annual
Trade: -1.9% exp, -0.9% imp, Q2 2019
Unemployment: 5.2% September 2019
Last update: 18 November 2019

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