Public spending austerity and its impact on health services

Cuts to expenditure and investment in the hospital setting almost self-evidently pose risk of detriment to patient care and safety.

In response to the impacts of public spending austerity being felt in health services across Europe, the 34 member countries of EAHP passed policy alerting decision-makers to the dangers and the need for diligent care in approach.

Amongst the negative impacts of public spending austerity causing concern to hospital pharmacists are:

  • increasing expectancy placed upon patients to meet the up-front costs of their medicines;
  • the unintended impacts national cost-cutting measures are having in respect of medicines shortage;
  • short-staffing in hospitals;
  • diminished opportunities for healthcare professional training and development; and,
  • shrinking investment in areas of patient safety enhancement.

The agreed statement also calls for a European Commission review into the potential for greater joint level cooperation between governments in terms of reducing the detrimental health impacts of austerity measures. 

EAHP's statement on public spending austerity is available to read here. 


Last update: 15 September 2020