The ageing population & the challenges ahead

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After rising four-fold in 2006, the number of 100-year olds in Japan rose again from 28,395 to 36,276 (21.8%) at the end of September 2008. This increasing trend of centenarians, 86% of which are women, is a worldwide reflection of longer life expectancy attributable to improvements in health care, diet, exercise, and lifestyle. To date, the world’s known oldest person is Edna Parker, 115 years old who lives inn a nursing home in Indiana, USA.

274,000 American Centenarians by Year 2025

The number of centenarians — people who are 100 years or older — in the United States has grown 60% since 1990, to about 61,000 people, and will continue to increase in coming decades, according to the Census Bureau. In another 10 years, the number will more than double to over 130,000 people, and it’s expected to double yet again to 274,000 in 2025.”—Healthy Aging Center (WebMD)

WHO STATISTICS

Number of Doctors per Capita by Countries

Countries/ Doctor Nos./ (Doctor numbers per 1000 )
Europe (Advanced countries)
Belgium 46,268 (4.49)
Denmark 15,653 (2.93)
Finland 16,446 (3.16)
France 203,487 (3.37)
Germany 277,885 (3.37)
Ireland 11,141 (2.79)
Italy 241,000 (4.2)
Netherlands 50,854 (3.15)
Norway 14,200 (3.13)
Sweden 29,122 (3.28)
UK 133,641 (2.3)

North America
USA 730,801 (2.56)
Canada 66,583 (2.14)

Oceania-Asia PacificAustralia 47,875 (2.47)
NZ 9,027 (2.37)
Japan 251,889 (1.98)
S Korea 75,045 (1.57)
Malaysia 16,146 (0.7)
Philippines 44,287 (0.58)
NB: the doctor figures from different countries may be from different years- as reported to WHO. (Source: nofearSingapore.blogspot.com/02/20/07)

The decrease of birthrates in many industrialized countries and rising longevity, worry economic planners who foresee greater strain in health care and the social security system (SSS.) Demographers observe that more people marry late, want few or no children, and more are likely to devote greater time for their careers, finances, and preferred lifestyles. With expanding elderly population, more people will need doctor services and greater health care in the future.

The above is also true in the United States with the graying of the baby boomers and the rise of retirees. With a per capita expenditure of $5,711 (followed by France with $3,048,) there are about 46 million Americans without medical insurance coverage. Of these, about 11 million are illegal aliens, 15 million are eligible for state-sponsored Medicaid, but don’t apply, 15 million adults with children eligible for free insurance and 10 million childless adults. The number of medically uninsured Americans is about half the total population of the Philippines, a country also trying to fix its healthcare system.(Photo Credit: Koroko1; highschoolphotojournalist/bythekevichang)=0=

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