Health expenditure due to chronic illnesses are suffering a huge increase, reports the Echo Wednesday, on the basis of a Mutalités Libres study on 2,2 million of its affiliates, and considering data from 2010 to 2015. On the one hand, the number of chronic illnesses has increased by 12% over 5 years, reaching almost one affiliate out of 4 (24.8%) in 2015 (520,523 persons). The probability of being afflicted by a chronic pathology increasing with age, one can predict that this rise in number will continue, taking the demographic ageing into account.
On the other hand, the price of care (fees, medication) also tends to increase. Thus, the average annual expenditure at the social security’s charge for a person with a chronic illness has increased by 10% during these same 5 years (2010-2015), to reach 5,746 euros.
This combination makes the weight of chronic illnesses on health expenditure grow heavier with time: in five years, the cost related to these illnesses has gone from 67.4% to 70.4% in the INAMI budget.
Is considered as suffering from a chronic illness a patient who takes specific medicine during a minimum of 90 days per year (120 days for depression). In total, 24 ailments are identified, going from cancer to hypertension, including epilepsy, or multiple sclerosis.