“Keep people healthy to keep countries wealthy”, urges ILC ahead of G20 Health and Finance Ministers’ meeting

Ahead of tomorrow’s joint meeting of the G20 Health and Finance Ministers, David Sinclair, Director of the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) argues:

“It’s promising to see G20 Health and Finance Ministers coming together at this crucial time. COVID-19 has shown us first-hand that health equals wealth, as countries across the world have plunged into one of the hardest-hitting global recessions of the last century.”

“In an ageing world, coming out of this recession will rely on governments across the G20 better engaging older workers, older consumers, older volunteers and older carers, who contribute immensely to the global economy. In the UK alone, 54p in every pound is spent by people aged 50 and over, potentially boosting GDP by 2% every year by 2040. And across the G20, the picture is much the same.”

“But during COVID-19, older people have been disproportionately locked out of working, spending, caring and volunteering. And we know that health is a key barrier to maximising the potential of an ageing society.”

“Our research has shown that across better off countries, in 2017 alone, 27.1 million years were lived with largely preventable age-related diseases, leading to more than $600 billion worth of lost productivity every year. In the UK alone, about a million people aged 50-64 are forced out of work as a result of health and care needs or caring responsibilities.”

“If we are to deliver a potential longevity dividend, in the post-pandemic recovery and beyond, we need to ensure we are supporting people to not just live longer, but also healthier lives and promoting preventative health interventions right across the life course.”

“Fundamentally, in the post-pandemic recovery and as we plan for the future of an ageing society, we need to keep people healthy to keep countries wealthy. The cost of failing to adapt to the needs of an ageing society are simply too high to ignore.”

ILC will be publishing its flagship report “Healthy equals wealthy: The global longevity dividend” alongside the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting on Monday, 12 October 2020. The report will explore the value of the longevity economy to G20 countries, its relationship with health, and key levers to maximise the longevity dividend.

ILC will also be launching the second phase of its Prevention in an ageing world programme during a virtual launch event on Tuesday 29 September to examine how countries across the world can move from commitment to action on preventative healthcare.