September 4, 2010

AUSTRIA: Aging population increases Austria's care costs

VIENNA, Austria / Austrian Broadcasting Station / Xinhua / September 4, 2010

Austria's expenditure on social services was rising quickly as its population aged, the Austrian Broadcasting Station reported September 3, says news from Xinhua.

Currently, home care services totaled 14.5 million hours each year, with an annual cost of 1.3 billion euros (1.67 billion U.S. dollars), according to the report.

By 2020, the time and expense required for such services would increase to 23 million hours and 2 billion euros (2.57 billion dollars) per year, the broadcaster said.

The number of nursing stations for the aged would also increase during that period, by 15,000 to 77,000. Austrians can access nursing care provided by social insurance when they are not able to take care of themselves.

Statistics showed the vast majority of those needing home care were elderly citizens, and the aging population was increasing the country's social care burden, the report said.

The broadcaster said the number of people older than 75 in Austria was forecast to exceed one million by 2030, accounting for one eighth of the total population.

Editor: Bi Mingxin

Copyright © 2000-2010 Xinhua News Agency.