Want economic growth? Here’s why we should pay attention to our healthcare system!
Ageing societies pose several challenges like slow economic growth, providing
According to a recent report by
India still has a sizeable number of elderly people even though the proportion of people above 60 years of age is 8.9% of the total population. According to the Report, India has roughly 12 crore people above the age of 60. In the world at present, there is a total of 90 crore people above the age of 60 which shows that roughly one in every nine elderly people stays in India. The report also goes on to say that roughly one in four of these 12 crore people has access to pensions in India. This statistic corresponds to the International Labour Organization’s metric of one in four elderly people receiving pensions in low and middle-Income countries. A maintenance of up to a maximum of Rs. 10,000 (US$160) a month is also available to older people for food, clothing, housing, medical attendance and treatment. It is furnished under the State of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. However, the report finds that the awareness of this law is low. A survey done by HelpAge India shows that only 59% of respondents were aware of pension eligibility while no one surveyed was aware of the 2007 Act.
Over the next decade, the governments, private sector and individuals at all levels should look to improve healthcare access to people and look at improving the subjective aspects of their lives and overall well-being in India. It will require a multi-pronged approach with improvements in income security, health care access and treatment as well as a sense of care, generosity and respect towards the elder generation. It will start with a behavioral change and social awakening towards the needs and requirements of the elderly.
(The article is co-authored with Sankalp Sharma, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Competitiveness, India. Amit Kapoor is Chair, Institute for Competitiveness & Editor of Thinkers. The views expressed are personal. Amit can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets @kautiliya)
Image Credit: www.healthcare-in-india.net
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