Health economics

What care is possible for the elderly in a world that is ageing and has no resources?

The theme of health care for the elderly is becoming increasingly relevant for a multitude of reasons. The first is of a demographic nature; Italy is among the oldest countries in Europe (second only to Germany) with an old age index of 142%. It is forecast that the old age index, which was only 31.4% in 1951, could reach 256.3% in 2050, suggesting that in the next 30 years there will be 5 five over 150 year-olds for every boy under 14.

Add to this an increasing, approximately 38.4% (Source: Istat 2011) of people with at least one pathalogically or degeneratively chronic disease and we can see how the Italian healthcare system needs to come to terms with this significant increase in health provision demand. Therefore the problem will no longer be how to manage a critical situation, but how to manage this critical situation while guaranteeing a dignified quality of life for the citizens. According to the most recent estimates, spending in 2050 for the elderly and the chronically ill could absorb 2/3 of the Italian NHS budget.

The conference intends to present the most recent data on nation-wide, hospitalisation for chronic diseases in geriatric departments and to discuss alternatives to the usual hospitalization policy, whixh are more appropriate and closer to the patient’s needs and to arrive at an initial estimate of savings on healthcare expenditure.

During the discussions, the issue of social-health integration and the importance of shared and responsible management of chronic disease care among healthcare professionals, family members and patients will be dealt with, within a framework of empowerment of the individual. Particular attention will be paid to the role that technology can play in the support of healthcare governance and the appropriateness and quality of healthcare in Italy.