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Crisis In Healthcare Funding Predicted

Europe-wide healthcare faces a financial meltdown as its costs continue to rise, according to a recent report1 from the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

The report draws on the literature and data available on Europe’s healthcare systems, as well as interviews in which 28 leading healthcare experts gave their predictions for the state of Europe’s healthcare by the year 2030.


It concludes that healthcare costs are rising faster than countries’ ability to pay them. The main drivers of rising healthcare costs in Europe are cited as ageing populations and the related rise in chronic disease, exacerbated by costly technological advances.

It cites World Bank figures claiming that public expenditure on healthcare in the EU could jump from 8% of GDP in 2000 to 14% in 2030 and continue to grow beyond that date. The rise is attributed to two interconnected trends: the ageing of the population and the parallel rise in chronic disease, exacerbated by the rising cost base of medical technologies.

The analysis of past trends is the basis for five projected scenarios for healthcare in 2030, which the authors present as “by nature exaggerated versions of the likely future reality” which may help to clarify the current debate on healthcare reform:

  • Technology triumphs and cures chronic disease, while e-health takes a prominent role in the management of healthcare.
  • European nations join forces to create a single pan-European healthcare system.
  • Preventive medicine takes precedence over treating the sick.
  • European healthcare systems focus on vulnerable members of society.
  • European nations privatise all of healthcare, including its funding.

The interviews were carried out by Alexandra Wyke, Paul Kielstra and Conrad Heine. Alexandra Wyke was the author of the report, and Aviva Freudmann and Delia Meth-Cohn were the editors.


  1. Wyke A, Freudmann A, Meth-Cohn D. The future of healthcare in Europe. Available from:

Published on: April 6, 2011

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