CRC 1342 member Heinz Rothgang took part in the EU Commission's workshop on "Mutual Learing" in the field of social security systems for long-term care on 7 and 8 March. Selected scientists from ten EU countries discussed with representatives of the Commission, Eurostat, the OED and European NGOs on questions of access, quality assurance and sustainability of long-term care provision systems. They also discussed the possibility of improving comparative reporting on these issues at EU level. Heinz Rothgang presented in particular the perspective of Germany's long-term care insurance.
"Social security systems for the need for long-term care are the most recent branch of social security in the European Union. At the same time, they are the area in which the Member States' social security systems differ most," says Rothgang. "This makes it all the more important to initiate mutual learning processes between the Member States".
There are now many data and studies on social security systems for long-term care dependency, says Rothgang. However, international comparison is difficult: "Although it is possible to formulate a common, rather abstract definition of the need for long-term care, national definitions must be used for comparative figures. However, these definitions are not easily comparable, so that it is already difficult to compare the number of people in need of long-term care". According to Rothgang, one solution would be a vignette study. "This would involve presenting well-described cases to those responsible at national level and requiring them to indicate what benefits the described person receives in their country". Together with the national data, a comparable picture would emerge.
Following the intensified discussion at European level in recent years of indicators of the quality of outcomes, Rothgang added that it was now clear "that we cannot do without indicators of structural and process quality either".
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Phone: +49 421 218-58557