Access to Care

Tackling inequalities in access to quality care

Poverty and inequality represent two of the largest social and economic challenges that contemporary societies face, especially affecting children and the elderly.

These two conditions not only increase these population’s risk factors, but also hinder their access to quality care.

It’s estimated that by 2070, 30% of Europe’s population will be elderly, while more than 23.6 million will require long-term care already by 2030. We also know that 50% of mental illnesses appear before the age of 14 and that 1 in 5 teenagers suffer from some form of mental disorder.

To tackle the inequalities in these areas, the Gulbenkian Foundation will focus its intervention on younger and older populations, giving priority to the promotion of well-being for the elderly and the development of better responses for child mental health.

Our approach

The Foundation aims to combat inequality in access to care in these populations through the development of new models of integrated health and social care, as well as through capacity building of the organisations working in these fields. The main objective is to improve the health and well-being indices of children and elderly.

Accordingly, the Foundation will commission specific research and benchmarking studies, at national and international level, as well as consult with experts and leading institutions. 

Key areas of action


Develop integrated models of home/community-based care, targeted at elderly people, and models of long-term care focused on maintaining the well-being of older people.

Child mental health

Develop community-based solutions focusing on children’s early years and with a particular emphasis on improving parent-child bonding to prevent future mental health problems. Support early intervention solutions for mental health issues in young people up to the age of 18.





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