LookAtVietnam – As the population ages, demand rises for elderly care. In Viet Nam, this highlight a severe lack of healthcare services for older generations.
Elderly people perform at a festival in Ha Noi. Healthcare services for the older generations remain increasingly inadequate.
On the other hand, healthcare services for the elderly are very limited. According to National Geriatric Hospital statistics, only 22.4 per cent of provincial-level hospitals have geriatric departments. There are only five long-term care facilities nationwide and two institutes that provide training on geriatrics.
Head of the Population and Social Affairs Institute Nguyen Dinh Cu said, “The expense to cover elderly care services is seven to eight times higher than those for children.”
As of now, in Ha Noi there are several nursing centres for the elderly, but beneficiaries are mainly those who contributed to the revolution and the disabled. There are also a number of centres funded by private organisations.
“Such centres can meet only a small portion of the total demand,” said Cu, whose department comes under the National Economics University.
In the long term, to respond to the rapidly ageing population in Viet Nam, developing a professional elderly care system would be necessary, he said.
“The elderly are normally dependent on their children, but in a modern society, they may not be able to live together and no one will take care of them. That’s when caregivers can step in.”
According to Cu, it will be difficult, because social security policies are still limited.
In Ha Noi, the Office for Population and Family Planning is running a pilot project to implement a model that provides care to the elderly in Hoan Kiem District since 2009.
As many as 400 senior citizens in Tran Hung Dao Ward received free health checks and consultations, including eye examinations, ultrasounds and scans.
Huong said, “We understand that the elderly need to be cared both physically and spiritually. That’s why we co-operate with local authorities to organise many cultural and sports activities for the seniors to take part in.”
According to Huong, after the successful implementation of this model in Hoan Kiem District, it would be introduced to six other districts across Ha Noi.
“The model is just a framework. In each district, based on socio-economic development levels, we will have to make proper adjustments.”
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News