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EFSI Joins 16 European Organizations in Urgent Call for Sustainable Investments in Long-Term Care

On the first UN International Day of Care and Support, EFSI proudly stands alongside 16 European organizations, collectively calling for immediate action to address the underinvestment and critical staff shortages in long-term care.

The first-ever UN International Day of Care and Support marks a significant step forward in acknowledging the invaluable role of caregiving in our societies. This occasion has generated momentum and provides an opportunity to inspire substantial actions across the European Union.

The joint statement underscores the following key points:

  • Confronting discrimination: The joint statement highlights the persisting issues of ableism, ageism, and discrimination based on gender, migration status, and other factors that affect both care providers and recipients. It underscores the prevailing perception that care is primarily a woman's duty, leading to a disproportionate number of women in underpaid, undervalued care staff roles. The COVID-19 and cost-of-living crises have exacerbated this problem, making it increasingly difficult to find well-trained, stable care staff.
  • Impact on care recipients: The shortage of staff in the care sector has dire consequences for those who rely on care services. It can result in a denial of human rights, with potentially life-threatening consequences, and hinder the quality of care provided. This situation may also amount to a violation of the rights of individuals entitled to care services under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • The Role of Informal Carers: In light of staff shortages, informal caregivers are often compelled to step in, adding to their already substantial responsibilities. The strain of this situation leads to burnout, social isolation, financial challenges, and an imbalance between work, care, and life.

In light of the above-mentioned, the joint statement calls on Member States, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the EU Parliament, to invest in the transition to community-based, person-centered, high-quality, affordable, and accessible long-term care systems. Specific actions are urged under the framework of the European Care Strategy, including the presentation of well-funded, time-bound measures by Member States by June 2024 and the implementation of a monitoring and evaluation framework by the European Commission. This joint call seeks to improve service coverage, affordability, and the coordination of care services across the life course.

Read the joint statement here.