Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plan for aged rolled out but has ‘long way to go’

Plan for aged rolled out but has ‘long way to go’

A grandmother plays with her grandchild in her veranda in Phnom Penh earlier this month.
A grandmother plays with her grandchild in her veranda in Phnom Penh earlier this month. Sahiba Chawdhary

Plan for aged rolled out but has ‘long way to go’

The Ministry of Health’s preventive medicine department yesterday released a national policy for elderly health care to address anticipated growth in Cambodia’s ageing population, which is estimated to reach 21 percent of the country’s total population by 2050.

However, there is no timeframe as yet on the implementation of what could be a “costly” policy, officials acknowledged yesterday on the sidelines of a workshop to disseminate the measure.

Dr Liu Yunguo, a representative with the WHO, which assisted in formulating the policy, said that in 2008, Cambodians 60 and older represented only 6 percent of the Kingdom’s demographically young population, but that figure is expected to nearly double by 2030.

By 2050, about 1 in 5 Cambodians will be 60 or older due to a decrease in family sizes and increases in longevity.

“While the potential benefit of active and healthy older populations’ contributions to society is enormous, ageing also comes along with challenges, such as rising burdens of non-communicable diseases, and the need for a different model of services including rehabilitation,” Yunguo said.

Kol Hero, director of the preventive medicine department, said officials still needed to develop an action plan for implementing the policy. “We have a long way to go,” he said. “We need to assess the needs on the ground and prioritise that. Our goal is to promote healthy ageing.”

Funding for the policy’s implementation would still also need to be secured, he conceded.

Experts yesterday identified key priorities such as an expansion of geriatric units in hospitals, training for medical personnel and providing support services for families, said Vivath Chou, with the WHO. Experts also stressed the need for rehabilitation to help the elderly stay active and live independently.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be