In our last article, we faced the global aging problem in Thailand, now we gonna to see the aging dilemma in entire Asia.
As far as you may know, Singapore became prospered country about 20 years ago. Second part of the XX century was related with rapid development and reforms. Thus, after the implementing of the new laws, which made the country extremely attractive for foreign investments, there were need to care about the elderly.
During this period there were no social or medical insurance, because it became widespread only 15 years ago. The aging people were the most unprotected part of the society and the government had to deal with this issue. That is why Pioneer Generation Package project was launched. It guaranteed medical, social and financial assistance for people aged over 65. Some of them are not able to move by themselves, so the government started the “Aging at home”. This initiative allowed hospitals in most of regions to create basic healthcare units. Today, we may consider Singapore as the country that handled with pensioners’ problems the best.
What about India ?
India has the second world population, which is more than one billion people. About 10% percent of them are pensioners, who cannot get proper healthcare. The main reason for this is unequal development. For example, in central part of the India there is a lot of hospitals and clinics (and pensions are generally given), but the elder people, who live near the borders could only dream about modern treatment.
Fortunately, there are some volunteer-based organizations that provide mobile medical care. But it causes one more problem for elderly. Families that live in some villages, do not have phones or other tools to contact the ambulance. In other cases, help could not be so mobile, because there is no real road to get to the place.
Even Mathew Cherian, Chief Executive Officer of HelpAge India and a Member of the Board of HelpAge International agreed that providing of medical care for elder people is one of the biggest issues. We could say the same about social and financial insurance for pensioners. Bureaucracy itself is throwing the government back every time, so there is only way to handle with this – to create single data-base for the whole country, get the whole picture of the situations and launch medical assistance programmes.