Health for Seniors – A definitive opportunity in the decade ahead

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Senior Care forum under the aegis of NATHEALTH – Healthcare Federation of India, an apex body representing the ecosystem of private healthcare sector in collaboration with ASLI, FICCI and MTaI launched a whitepaper on “Catalysing and Reforming Senior Care in India” in technical collaboration with PWC. Currently, India enjoys a young population dividend, in the next few decades the ageing population is set to grow to ~330 million individuals by 2050. The growing elderly population, increased life expectancy, improved affordability, shifting disease burden & changing family structures are driving the need for senior care both medical & non-medical. With increasing ageing population, there will be an increase in demand for care and resources. The paper highlighted that there is a need for a strong policy framework. Mechanisms for financing of care and an elder welfare ecosystem involving both in the public and private sector can help the Indian elders live a healthy and enriching life during their silver years.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Hon’ble Member-Health, NITI Aayog said, “The care of the elderly is a very critical area. The issue of financial protection of seniors is a very important one and we must look at private insurance models that have worked in other countries. We must look at ways to incorporate senior care into our existing primary health systems. We must identify the correct way to channelize CSR funds to scale up elderly care. Another important factor is to consider the telehealth model to reach out to seniors across geographies. It is also important to include civil society organsations who work on ground as a part of the discussion.”

Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said, “Senior care is one of the urgent public health priorities that we should collectively address as a nation. A public-private partnership will help us effectively address the problem and enable us to create a better eco-system for elder care. As our constructive next steps to elevate the state of elderly care in India, we should give adequate attention to five aspects which includes building industry standards, strengthening elderly insurance cover, forming elderly self-help groups and re-employment opportunities, integrating innovation into elderly ecosystem through startups, and encouraging private sector to invest in senior care through their CSR programs.”

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