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According to the OECD, an organization of industrialized countries, the coronavirus pandemic reduced life expectancy in the EU by more than a year in 2021 from pre-crisis levels. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in Paris that it was the highest decline for most countries since World War II.

Thus, life expectancy in 2021 was just over 80 years. Coronavirus increased health care spending in almost all EU countries in 2020 and 2021. In Germany, per capita health care spending rose nearly five percent in real terms in 2020, the fastest growth rate in a decade, according to the OECD.

In 2021, healthcare spending rose by almost three percent. According to the information, the share of health spending in gross domestic product increased from 11.7 percent in 2019 to 12.8 percent in 2020. This is the highest proportion of health spending among EU countries.

The pandemic has also affected mental health

The pandemic has also had a significant impact on the mental health of many people, especially young people. In Germany, the proportion of children and adolescents aged 11 to 17 with anxiety symptoms rose from 15 percent before the pandemic to 30 percent in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively. was so large, according to the OECD.

The coronavirus has shed light on the weaknesses of European health care systems that have been underfunded in many places for years. Germany is still doing relatively well, according to the OECD. However, significant investments need to be made, especially in personnel and the digitalization of the health sector. In addition, not enough money is being spent on prevention. (dpa/ari)