The Future of Healthcare: Time for Radical Reforms?

Belgium, Brussels, 1000, Stanhope Hotel, Rue du Commerce 9
Tuesday, March 22 2016 / 13:00

Rising healthcare costs in Europe represent a daunting challenge for the coming decades. The demographic outlook of Europe is such that the continent’s population  is destined  to age significantly based  on  declining fertility rates and increasing levels of life expectancy. Growing elderly populations will inevitably lead to higher demand of healthcare goods and services, and thus to more spending, putting further pressure on already fragile national budgets. At the same time, rising R&D costs for medical innovation are expected, which will also confront governments with further fiscal challenges and dilemmas. Finally, it is argued that the incentives shaping the behaviour of patients, providers and payers in the present state-dominated system are distorted, and that a more market-oriented system could provide better healthcare services at lower costs. Our discussion will try to offer an unconventional treatment of healthcare challenges  in  Europe  and  it  will  consider  the  potential  impact  of  a  radical liberalisation  of  healthcare  services  within  the  EU  single  market. It will also consider whether the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) offers opportunities to improve services and reduce costs.