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Endowed Chair of Marga Klompé
International Social Responsibility

Compilation of background documents

The international symposium about health care and ageing in a globalised world, with the appropriate title “a bouquet on the table”, wants to address pressing questions dealing with the commodification of care, the demographic changes and consequently anticipated labour shortages in the care and health sector. Technical innovations are revolutionizing the health sector and raise expectations of citizens to live a long life in good health but due to the accompanying increasing costs also force politicians to rethink the care packages they want to offer their constituencies. The austerity measures of recent years make these questions even more pressing. From a global perspective, questions have to be raised about a fair distribution amongst nations of the means (including health and care workers) to build and maintain health systems able to provide quality care.

For Marga Klompé, the first female minister of the Netherlands, care was the gift of social responsibility and a celebration of life. Her remembrance inspires to provide for an ethical foundation to address health care challenges in the coming decades.

The below mentioned shortlist of English and Dutch publications provides a quick overview and first orientation into the challenges the health care sector faces.

Two publications from the EC specifically deal with the increasing demand of health and care works from outside the EU and the need to restructure the health sector to promote a sustainable workforce in Europe:

The OECD published in 2011 a major work on long term care based on qualitative and quantitative data derived from 29 OECD countries. It analyses the growth, demand and provision of long term care and its impact on family careers and succeeds in addressing thought provoking questions related to the coordination between care and health and the provision of continuity of care:

A recent, compact and easy to read report of the WHO gives you all the necessary data about ageing and health. It addresses in a nutshell important challenges of global ageing and pleas for a life-course approach to achieve healthy and active ageing. It connects shortly to the important issue of social determinants of health:

A little bit older publication from the Council of Europe deals with an issue of commodification where moral and ethical boundaries are clearly crossed namely the trafficking in organs and human beings for the purpose of the removal of organs. It gives an overview of the common practices regarding organ donation, its bioethical and legislative arrangements and existing organ shortages. It provides facts and deals with the myths concerning trafficking. In the end conclusions and recommendations amongst others remain in the area of preventive measures and increased interstate cooperation: