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Crisis in the Western Social Health System

In an editorial in the prestigious Lancet of 15 March 2014, the crisis in the global care system for the elderly at a Western level (Global elderly care in crisis) is presented, based on data published in Great Britain.

On 6 March this year, Denis Campbell published in The Guardian the results of the report on social services in Great Britain, where from 2005-2006 to 2012-2013 social service expenditure has risen from 15.3% to 9.9% in a country with increasing ageing rates, leading to approximately 168,000 people being withdrawn from essential services to maintain their dependency, in terms of basic activities such as food, hygiene, clothing, or the financing of certain technical aids (wheelchairs, walkers). The resulting isolation and loneliness for the elderly and the overburdening of carers does not seem to influence the prioritization of needs in policy planning systems. **

Caroline Abrahams, director of the British charitable services, is sounding the alarm on the system of cuts in public services, which is leading to a catastrophic situation for a large part of the population, especially the most fragile.

The editorial mentions that in the British health system (National Health Service) the overloading of the health care systems in the emergency departments and at hospital level, may be the result of a decrease in the social support systems, which increase the vulnerability of the care and which causes many people to wander around the system with excessive costs and a worsening of the overall situation of the system.

The case of China is also worrying, as it serves 185 million people over 60 years of age, of whom 32% have a poor perception of health, 38% have a degree of dependency, and 23% live below the poverty line, the numbers are chilling from a quantitative point of view. This, coupled with the policy of birth control with one child and the urbanization of the population, puts social care systems in crisis.***

By April 2015, the UK will be injecting £3.8 billion a year into improving care and attempting greater integration of social and health systems.

In the Spanish national health system, whose reference is the British health service itself, with the progressive dismantling of the service, it may be able to obtain better economic data in the short term due to the closure of services or activities, but in the medium to long term it may be very negative, although it is already known that other political leaders may have to deal with the problems in another term, throwing their time and lost opportunities at each other.

"When you see your neighbour's beard peeling, soak your own.

*Global elderly care in crisis. The Lancet Vol 383 March 15, 2014

**Crisis in care 2014 on http:// www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/ age-uk-publishes-damningreport- on-care-crisis/

***China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Studysee http://charls.ccer.edu.cn/en


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