Vietnam seeks to improve health care for elderly

Thien Thanh Sanitaryware joint company

Vietnam seeks to improve health care for elderly

Measures for improving health care for Vietnam ’s aged population were the focus of a conference organised by the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Hanoi on September 26.

Addressing the event, Head of the ministry’s Treatment and Examination Department Luong Ngoc Khue said care services for the elderly in Vietnam have improved, benefitting more than 2 million people on a regular basis.

However, statistics show that Vietnam has one of the world’s top ten most rapidly aging populations. More than 90 percent of the elderly requires daily support. Medical expenses for this group are 7-10 times higher than for young people.

UNFPA Deputy Representative in Vietnam Ritsu Nacken said each Vietnamese elderly person suffers from an average of 15.3 diseases during his or her lifetime, a number which is much higher than in developed countries.

According to Prof. Pham Van Thang from the National Geriatric Hospital , in addition to infectious diseases, the elderly often suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer, and require medical care for the rest of their lives, he said.

Conference participants suggested Vietnam diversify its health care services, develop models for caring for the elderly in hospitals and at home, and provide training courses for volunteer carers.

Vietnam issued the Law on the Elderly in 2009 and established the National Committee on Aging, as well as launched a national action programme for the elderly.

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