The existing costs of corona are insignificant in comparison to the costs that we as a nation face in the future. This is not really about the ramifications of a potential second wave.
How Politics Is Seriously Lagging When Its Come to Our Health
If the coronavirus has taught us something, it is the value of our wellbeing. At the moment, good health is worth its weight in gold. In other countries, there is still some work to be done in some region.
Apart from corona, we are getting sicker in other countries. In fact, according to Public Health, 58% of the people now has a chronic condition. This is partly because we are getting older , but also because more and more are people are suffering from lifestyle diseases. Physically, but also mentally, because high (work) pressure is something that we increasingly impose on ourselves .
Care must accommodate us in this. Unfortunately, that sector itself offers the most poignant future prospects. Absenteeism in health care is already the highest in some countries: 5.9 percent against 4.7 percent on average.
Furthermore, the demand for healthcare professionals is increasingly growing. To be able to meet this requirement, in a few years 1 in 4 workers will have to work in healthcare. This is obviously not going to happen. The result: a great shortage of healthcare workers, even higher work pressure, growing absenteeism, even less staff , rising costs . No emergency fund can compete with that.
Meanwhile, more than 1,600 healthcare specialists , as well as various top athletes and sports organizations, are committed to a healthier life. This is not only useful in the fight against the virus, but also for our wallets. If we proceed in this manner, a much larger situation will be on the horizon.
The healthcare costs are the highest costs within the budget. These are now around 100 billion euros per year. However, the expectations are that they will rise to 174 billion euros per year (!) In the coming years . If you put those annual extra costs of 74 billion euros against the one-off aid package of 20 billion euros from the government, the challenge suddenly becomes very clear.
The government and health insurers will have to show more decisiveness. The health initiatives of recent years do not show any progressive insight. A government that manages to raise the price for healthy food with dry eyes and lower the price of sweets, snacks and sugar is not engaged in health promotion.
The effort to make wellness coaching more available to the general public turned out to be a hoax. Of the only 6.5 million euros that has been earmarked for this , less than 250,000 euros has been used. This is partly due to the strict regulations that lifestyle coaches must comply with. Lifestyle coaches eventually have so little left over from their coaching that they are unable to live a healthier life.
So if we want to get ahead of the next crisis, we will have to get to work ourselves; exercise more, eat healthier, learn to cope with work pressure better, improve your night’s sleep and find a solutions for wellness. These are marginal steps to prevent that we all end up on very expensive waiting lists.