Ageing and health in Portugal (1970-2030). Politics and practise

Teresa Rodrigues, CEPESE
Carla Leão, CEPESE

This paper summarizes the conclusions from a project financed by FCT-PORTUGAL. It addresses the relationship between health status and the rise of Portuguese educational levels in a context of ageing process. We measured the extent and implications of these links from 1970 to 2030, using econometric models and demographic forecast as a tool to support political entities in what concerns health policies, given the changes of costumers profile (typology, quality assessment and market analysis). The impacts of population ageing are known, as well as its consequences on health care and other areas of social policies. Although the economic impacts of those changes are a not consensual, they are inevitable. Individuals are living longer and disability is declining. Health care cost will rise as a direct consequence of a higher number of oldest populations and due to better and more expensive health care treatments, possible by technological improvements. The cost of public pension programs will rise in a context of fewer labour forces to pay. What adjustment might be made? Can the rise of educational levels contribute to reduce the scenario of disruption on national social protection systems? How can an attempted forecast of health status help policy makers to find the adequate answers to assure it in national and regional levels? Most of these questions are already answered for other countries, but not completely solved in national case. Our study: (1) evaluates the effects of social and demographic changes on Portuguese health profile, as well as the support and importance given by politicians to collective welfare and health policies; (2) measures demographic changes crossed with educational level and health status; (3) evaluates the relative influence of the former variables, linking demographic changes with socioeconomic determinants/predictors of health status; (4) points out the major implications of health national policy.

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Presented in Poster Session 2

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