Aged care to Central Europe
Trends and opportunities
Europe’s population is growing older, and the average life expectancy is increasing due to people adopting healthier lifestyles. However, within the European Union (EU) as a whole, Central European and the Baltic countries have seen fertility fall to lower levels than those in the EU-15 (the 15 member states of the EU as of 13 December 2003), and significant outward migration of younger populations, both of which are considerably accelerating the average age of the population. Life expectancy in Central European countries remains significantly below that of the EU-15.
More than 20 per cent of the population in Central Europe and the Baltics are aged 50-64 and this is expected to increase steadily over the coming decades (Source: World Bank – What’s next in aging Europe – Aging with Growth in Central Europe and the Baltics). The countries of Central Europe such as the Czech Republic are particularly challenged. The combination of an aging population, rising wealth, changing social norms and an aspiration to reach the level of EU-15 countries is expected to result in increased expenditure in the senior living care sector.
The significance of individual contribution to the cost of care together with the rising wealth in the middle class is expected to drive growth in private sector provision of senior living and an increase in care quality and choice offered by existing NGOs, government and private care providers.
Market drivers include:
- increasing wealth
- demand for high quality products and services
- aspiration to reach the level of EU-15 countries
- EU regulations / harmonisation
- gross domestic product (GDP) per capita increasing.
The market needs value add and sophisticated, innovative technologies. The main opportunities are in:
- medical devices that provide diagnostic, monitoring and care in hospital and home (e-Health and telemedicine in particular)
- dementia services, education and research
- education and training curriculum and delivery for social/health care employees
- research collaboration and academic exchanges
- care facility services, especially facility design.
Key European Events:
Market entry strategies
- Local partner/representative is the most common and recommended way of entering the market.
- Contacts ad references are important decision making factors.
- CE MARK is a must.
- Firms operating within the EU have had to adapt to EU legislation, regulations related to the quality of goods/services and modified tax and customs regulations.
Note: CE countries are well regulated with harmonisation of regulations across the EU. This has eliminated the remaining trade barriers among its membership states.
Central Europe market challenges:
- lack of an integrated national policies and strategies
- lack of transparency
- overwhelming bureaucracy
- non-uniform reimbursement system
- poor information sharing from national to local level
- relatively low level of public spending on senior living and low level of private sector investment.
Links and industry contacts
Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic
State Health Insurance Company
National Institute of Public Health
State Institute for Drug Control
The Alzheimer’s Foundation Czech Republic
Association of Social Care Providers of the Czech Republic
Czech Alzheimer Society
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