THE HEAD of influential think-tank 2020heatlh has warned of a looming crisis in funding healthcare for the elderly.
Julia Manning, chief executive 2020heatlh said: “For too long, successive Governments have delayed addressing the urgent problem of funding an ageing population and their increasingly expensive healthcare requirements.
“Funding must not be left out of the Government’s latest report. It’s time for politicians on all sides of the aisle to unite and fix the fiscal crisis engulfing the healthcare of our nation’s elderly.
“The Government cannot afford to play politics with an issue that will affect us all sooner or later.
“Failure to address the vital issue of funding threatens not only the health of millions of pensioners, but questions the very premise the NHS was founded upon: healthcare for all, free upon demand.”
The proportion of people over the age of 80 is rising every year, with the demand for elderly care projected to increase by over 50% within 20 years.
Previous estimates for the costs of healthcare for the elderly are believed to total £1.7billion, which falls short of the £2.9bn currently spent on alcohol related illness in the NHS.
Mrs Manning added: “David Cameron has an opportunity to deal with the demographic time bomb afflicting the UK’s elderly.
“Nobody wants to see their grandparents or their friends’ parents thrown out of their homes because there are insufficient funds to care for them.
“The urgency of dealing with the white elephant in the room – the burgeoning cost of social care – cannot be put on the backburner any longer.”