An ageing population and care for the elderly were discussed at a conference in Hanoi on November 19.
In her speech, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen noted caring for the elderly is among the top concerns of the Party, State and the whole of society, to ensure old people enjoy healthy and happy lives.
She said Vietnam’s population has reached 90 million with rapid ageing in recent years. The country is one of the ten countries expected to experience the fastest ageing rate from now to 2050.
The official stressed that scientific and practical research should be undertaken to design effective healthcare models for the elderly.
The country’s current average life expectancy is 73, almost doubling the figure half a century ago.
From 1979 to 2009, Vietnam’s elderly population grew by one million people every decade. Now it rises by 1.2 million every two years, bringing the total number of the elderly to 8.65 million.
Despite improved healthcare services, access is still inadequate for vulnerable groups such as women, the poor and illiterate people, especially those in rural areas.
The healthcare system and necessary resources needed to care for the elderly are still limited.
During the two-day event, researchers and experts introduced a number of new initiatives to shape the healthcare strategy and model for the elderly.
They also suggested measures to improve the healthcare system and policies to meet the need of public healthcare services in Vietnam, strategies on mental health care for the elderly, as well as the role of healthcare services and technical support for geriatrics.
Both Swedish Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Maria Selin and Chief Representative of the Sweden International Development Cooperation Agency said Sweden is willing to share its experience with Vietnam in providing healthcare services for senior citizens, while supporting and cooperating with the country in the work.
Source: Voice of Vietnam