Investment in health for all: the best reward we can give to nurses


Brussels, Belgium – 6 April 2020

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Older persons wholeheartedly join the global applause for the healthcare professionals who work relentlessly to contain the spread of the COVID-19. Beyond the applause, they will need more than a reward: sound investments are urgently needed.

World Health Day 2020 is dedicated to nurses and midwives. Many older persons rely on the quality care nurses provide to them, either at home or in residential settings. The current pandemic puts an additional pressure on an already overstretched workforce and reminds us their invaluable contribution.

Today AGE Platform Europe and our members, would like to express our gratitude for the commitment and courage of the health and social care professionals, providing care in hospitals, in residential settings or at home. Their dedication to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is admirable, as is the tremendous work of all staff and volunteers working to ensure continuity of health and other essential services”.

Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General

To support them in the short term, they urgently need:

  • adequate protective equipment and all necessary support, including psychological help, for nurses and social care professionals to protect themselves, their own families as well as those they care for. This must cover staff working in residential care settings and at home.
  • clear guidance for residential, community and home long-term care services. Policy makers should remember that while there is a higher risk in long-term care facilities hosting groups of people, the vast majority of older persons receive care and support at home and are at risk too.
  • wide public health campaigns providing reliable information on the best possible behaviour citizens should adopt to help alleviate the burden of covid-19 on health and social care workforce.

In a near future, we will have to draw lessons from this crisis. Investment in health promotion and disease prevention, including in well-trained and adequately supported nurses, will be crucial to make our health and social care systems more resilient to crisis such as the one we are currently facing. We call on the EU and its Member States to develop coordinated and solidarity-based answers on short- and long-term perspective to achieve health for all, including older persons.

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