The Covid-19, an electric shock for Europe’s health

Staff shortages, difficulties in accessing care, it is a painful reminder. The Covid has highlighted the fragility of healthcare systems in many countries, underlines the OECD annual report (1) devoted to health.

He stresses the importance of support the health sector even more actively and increase the scope of screening, tracing and isolation measures . Over 10 million Europeans have been infected and over 265,000 have died.

Tobacco, with 700,000 deaths each year, remains the leading killer in Europe. Alcoholism comes next with more than 255,000 deaths. The announcement of the creation of a Health Authority, intended to strengthen cooperation and anticipate crises, is part of the good news of this very special period, observes Stella Kyriakides European Commissioner for Health.

The elderly and the poorest hardest hit

90% of these deaths were recorded in the over 60s. In several European countries, half, at the very least, of people who succumbed to Covid-19 were in nursing homes , observe l’OCDE.

The poorest, often in poor health, more marked by obesity, have been hit hard. In the United Kingdom, the probability of dying from Covid is twice as high in the poorest neighborhoods. In France, deaths rose 48% in March and April compared to the same period last year among immigrants.

Why are some countries doing better?

Norway, Finland but also Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have succeeded in controlling the epidemic. In some cases, such as Norway or Finland, the low population density may have played a role, at least in part.

But all these countries were also better prepared, insists the OECD report. They were able to quickly put in place an effective strategy for screening, monitoring patients and tracing contacts. By comparison, their population also gives more credit to the decisions and recommendations of the authorities and complies more readily.

(1) The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development brings together thirty-seven of the most developed countries.

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