The investment programme comprises approximately 150 projects throughout the country, including schemes for people with disabilities. It is designed to improve the availability of long-term care services through the construction, refurbishment and upgrading of facilities.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD) have joined forces to finance the €400m programme. The funds will be channelled to third-sector entities already providing services for the elderly in Portugal, in particular in the fields of health, accommodation and social support.
The EU bank will provide the IFD with a €200m loan to be leant to financial institutions in Portugal, which will allocate funds to entities promoting the construction, refurbishment and upgrade of the infrastructure. The financial intermediaries will will be required to match the amount lent by the EIB, thus making a total of up to €400m available for the investment programme.
Portugal has one of Europe’s highest percentages of unhealthy seniors over the age of 65. The scheme will allow third-sector entities, such as the Misericórdias and Instituições Particulares de Solidariedade Social (IPSS), to develop an investment programme. The goal is to increase availability since the current facilities are outdated and in many cases unable to cater for present needs. As a result, the Portuguese government is forced to provide continuing care in a hospital setting - thereby placing the national health service under much greater strain - or families are obliged to become or hire informal caregivers without the requisite training.