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Dr. Xenia Scheil-Adlung

UN Rep for Geneva

Dr. Xenia Scheil-Adlung is a UN Representative for Geneva / International Federation on Ageing

Languages : German, English, French


Dr. Xenia Scheil- Adlung is an Expert on Global Health and Long-Term Care Policies. She has a long standing career and expertise in advising governments, the UN and other international organizations, NGOs and academic institiutions and focuses on rights-based social protection policies and related socio-economic impacts at global, regional and national levels.Xenia has published numerous books and articles, particularly on issues related to health coverage, inequalities in access to services, medical impoverishment and health and social workforce issues affecting older persons.Prior to her current work as independent advisor, lecturer and academic referee, Xenia served for many years in the International Labour Organization (ILO) as Senior Health Policy Coordinator and as a Head of Division in the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Federal Government of Germany.She studied Economics and Political Science at the Free University of Berlin, Germany and the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, and received a PhD in Economics and a Diploma (Master) in Political Science.


Elderly Care in Crisis Perspectives from Japan
NHK World-Japan

April 28, 2018

Countries struggle to look after the elderly citizen amid a shortage of care workers. In addition to hiring abroad, Japan is adapting robots for a solution. How can we cope with this challenge?

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New Study Reveals an Unintended Consequences of Not Offering Paid Sick Leave
Business Insider

March 08, 2016

"In most countries, paid sick leave is regulated by legislation and relates to all enterprises in the countries concerned," said Xenia Scheil-Adlung, Health Policy Coordinator in the Social Protection Department of the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland...

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Most Elderly Lacking Long-Term Care
Voice of America (Blog)

September 30, 2015

Xenia Scheil-Adlung is the health policy coordinator at the ILO. She wrote a report on the study and its findings. She says the whole long-term care issue is neglected in many areas because of poor treatment of both the elderly and women.“This age discrimination and gender discrimination, but particularly age discrimination, is publicly not considered as a serious concern. Other than other forms of discrimination, we find that it is largely accepted that, for example, older people get less services. They are expected to consume less public funds. But if you compare rehabilitation services, which are needed both by younger and older persons, we find that older persons get much less.”...

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300 Million Elderly Not Receiving Long-term Care
New Straits Times Online

September 28, 2015

“This deplorable situation is reflected in the very low public LTC (long term care) expenditure, which amounts to less than 1.0 percent of GDP on average globally,” study author Xenia Scheil-Adlung said in a statement...

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Report: People in Rural Areas Lose Out on Health Care
Voice of America

April 27, 2015

ILO health policy coordinator Xenia Scheil-Adlung, says the situation is made worse by the lack of health workers. She says 7 million out of the total 10.3 million health workers lacking globally are needed in rural areas.“Highest shortages are again found in Africa in countries such as Somalia, Guinea, Niger and Chad, where nearly 100 percent of the population do not have access to health care given the absence of the needed health workers…Globally, largest inequities in the distribution of health workers are found in Timor Leste, where 75 percent of the rural population remains without access or without health workers…while this compares to 18 percent of the urban population," said Scheil-Adlung...

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Stagnation in UHC Implementation - What effective Strategies to Remove Bottlenecks?
Summary Report

2018Universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030 might be off track for most countries unless serious actions are taken. Even worse, there are very few signs of energy and actual dedicated attempts to implement UHC in a meaningful way. The world has not found a way to get all countries to take the transformative steps that mean they will achieve UHC by 2030. This report discusses how to make progress on UHC implementation and confront the challenges we face in countries.

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Health workforce: a global supply chain approach : new data on the employment effects of health economies in 185 countries

2016This document presents data on: (i) current number of workers in the entire global health protection supply chains involving the health economies of 185 countries; (ii) employment potential created by addressing health workforce shortages and producing universal health coverage (UHC); (iii) ratio of jobs in health and non-health occupations needed to achieve health objectives; (iv) number of decent jobs required to allow family care workers filling in for workforce shortages to remain in the labour market. The paper calls for significantly increasing investments in decent jobs for the production of UHC, sustainable development and inclusive growth.

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Long-term care (LTC) protection for older persons: A review of coverage deficits in 46 countries
International Labor Organization

2015This paper: (i) examines long-term care (LTC) protection in 46 developing and developed countries covering 80 per cent of the world’s population; (ii) provides (data on LTC coverage for the population aged 65+; (iii) identifies access deficits for older persons due to the critical shortfall of formal LTC workers; (iv) presents the impacts of insufficient public funding, the reliance on unpaid informal LTC workers and high out-of-pocket payments (OOP); and (v) calls for recognizing LTC as a right, and mainstreaming LTC as a priority in national policy agendas given the benefits in terms of job creation and improved welfare of the population.

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Health sector employment: a tracer indicator for universal health coverage in national Social Protection Floors
Human Resources for Health

2015Health sector employment is a prerequisite for availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (AAAQ) of health services. Thus, in this article health worker shortages are used as a tracer indicator estimating the proportion of the population lacking access to such services: The SAD (ILO Staff Access Deficit Indicator) estimates gaps towards UHC in the context of Social Protection Floors (SPFs). Further, it highlights the impact of investments in health sector employment equity and sustainable development.

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Global evidence on inequities in rural health protection: New data on rural deficits in health coverage for 174 countries
International Labor Organization

2015A new ILO report shows that 56 per cent of people living in rural areas worldwide do not have access to essential health-care services – more than double the figure in urban areas, where 22 per cent are not covered.

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Response to health inequity: the role of social protection in reducing poverty and achieving equity
Health Promotion International

2014Health inequities are determined by multiple factors within the health sector and beyond. While gaps in social health protection coverage and effective access to health care are among the most prominent causes of health inequities, social and economic inequalities existing beyond the health sector contribute greatly to barriers to access affordable and acceptable health care.

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Gaps in Social Protection for Health Care and Long‐Term Care in Europe: Are the Elderly Faced with Financial Ruin? International Social Security Review, January 2013
International Social Security Review

2013While public expenditure on health care and long‐term care (LTC) has been monitored for many years in European countries, far less attention has been paid to the financial consequences for older people of private out‐of‐pocket (OOP) expenditure necessary to access such care. Employing representative cross‐sectional data on the elderly populations of 11 European countries in 2004 from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we find that OOP payments for health care and LTC are very common among the elderly across European countries and such expenditures impact significantly on disposable income: up to 95 per cent of the elderly make OOP payments for health care and 5 per cent for LTC, resulting in income reductions of between 5 and 10 per cent, respectively.

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Area of Expertise

Decent Work for All

Economic impacts of social protection

Health and long-term care for older persons


International Health Partnerships

Medical impoverishment and poverty alleviation policies

Social protection financing and coverage

Workforce shortages and other issues in the health and social sectors


Alumni Freie Universität Berlin

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

Deutscher Sozialrechtsverband European Parliament

Marshall Memorial Fellowship



Social Services

Program Development

Government Administration

Elder Care

International Affairs

Public Policy

Think Tanks


Free University of Berlin : Economics

Ludwigs-Maximilians University : Political Sciences

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