According to the latest figures published by Eurostat, EU member states on average only spend 2,8 % of their healthcare budget on preventive care, which translates into an expenditure of 82 EUR per inhabitant on average. With 4,4 % of its healthcare budget spend on preventive care, Italy spends the most of any EU member state and with 0,8 %, Slovakia spends the least.
This is a worryingly low figure given it is estimated that 70% to 80% of health budgets in the European Union are being spent on treating chronic diseases, which represents around €700 billion being invested on mostly preventable, lifestyle-related diseases. At least 80% of all heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and around 40% of cancers could be prevented by applying the right prevention procedures.
One of the key risk factors for developing these chronic lifestyle-related diseases is a lack of physical activity. Therefore, it is crucial that physical activity promotion campaigns are considered a key tool for health promotion and disease prevention and that they receive appropriate and sustained public funding. With the current COVID-19 pandemic limiting the possibilities for many people to be active and enjoy the benefits this brings for their mental, social and physical wellbeing, physical activity promotion is more important than ever.
EuropeActive and its partners work every day towards making more people more active more often by working with European and national policy and decision makers and by implementing concrete physical activity promotion activities such as the #BEACTIVE HOUR campaign and the National Fitness Day for Europe project.