Four key policy areas to care for Bangladesh’s ageing population
The World Bank reported one in ten citizens will be 60 years old by 2025.
Bangladesh is on its way to becoming one of the countries with the largest older adult populations, which calls for an improved healthcare system.
The World Bank projected that by 2025, one in every ten citizens in the country will be 60 years old. This is also expected to double by 2050.
“This demographic transition is accompanied by an unavoidable surge in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and multi-morbid conditions that disproportionately affect older adults, leading to a dramatic increase in demand for health care services,” the report read in part.
“This surge also escalates the costs of both clinical and long-term care, further burdening financially vulnerable segments of society.”
In this light, policymakers and stakeholders need to introduce interventions in the following areas:
Financing. The government needs to provide funding based on outputs, such as health education sessions and NCD screenings. This should also cover clear guidelines and an integrated approach across relevant agencies.
Innovation. The government should set up a digital database that will provide disease tracking, SMS-based patient follow-up, and telemedicine functionality among others.
Regulation. The government should increase oversight over the private sector and telemedicine to ensure the quality of services as well as to provide training to relevant healthcare professionals.
Evaluation. The government should look at assigning a district-level NCD medical officer to regularly monitor and evaluate the long-term care program.