Journal section "Social development"

The Increase in the Number of Disabled Population in European Countries as an Indicator of the Effectiveness of Their Health Policies

Natsun L.N.

Volume 12, Issue 4, 2019

Natsun L.N. The increase in the number of disabled population in European countries as an indicator of the effectiveness of their health policies. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2019, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 200–219. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2019.4.64.13

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2019.4.64.13

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The paper presents an analysis of disability indicators in European countries, where the increase in the number of persons with disabilities is largely determined by the high primary disability in the elderly. The goal of our research is to identify distinctive characteristics of disability in groups of European countries that have different levels of economic development and conduct different policies in the field of healthcare. To achieve this goal, we solve the following research tasks: we arrange European countries into groups; we make a comparative evaluation of disability rate in the population in selected groups; we analyze of the quality and accessibility of healthcare as a factor that influences disability indicators; we propose recommendations aimed to reduce the disability rate in Russia’s population. We group European countries into six clusters according to disability indicators, the proportion of elderly persons in the population and healthy life expectancy at age 60. The greatest similarity of these parameters is observed in the countries that have similarities in geographical position and historical experience of participation in political associations. The Russian situation is characterized by worse values of healthy life expectancy and a relatively low proportion of elderly population in comparison with the situation in most other European countries. The discussion part of our paper considers the quality and availability of healthcare. In Russia, a significant part of older citizens who have the greatest risk of developing disabling pathologies cannot afford to receive treatment in private medical organizations. The effectiveness of rehabilitation measures for people with disabilities remains low. In conclusion, we summarize the arguments in favor of the use of disability indicators in assessing the effectiveness of countries’ health policies. We propose directions of work to reduce disability in Russia. The results of the study can be useful for social management workers and for scientists whose research interests affect the problems associated with disability of the population


demographic ageing, disability, increase in the number of the disabled, quality and availability of medical care

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