Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Policies and by David Phillips

By David Phillips

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Extra info for Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Policies and Future Trends (Routledge Advances in Asia-Pacific Studies, Volume 2)

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E. an increase of 36 per cent. By 2025, the twelvecountry elderly total is projected to reach 422 million. China alone will see its 60-and-over population explode from 123 million in 1998 to nearly 280 million by the year 2025. The emergence of the oldest old The term ‘oldest old’ refers here to those persons aged 75 and over. Currently, this group constitutes between 15 and 23 per cent of all elderly people in nine of the twelve nations, with somewhat higher levels seen in Japan, the Hong Kong (SAR) and Singapore.

Some international convergence of costs appears to be happening, perhaps influenced by what the public sector and insurance will support. A comparison of Hong Kong, Britain and Canada in 1999 indicates that a reasonable quality nursing home room in Hong Kong cost (in US dollars) from $800 to 1,800 per month. In Britain, state support for such a room was about $2,000 per month whilst, in Canada, it was estimated at about $1,900. In Hong Kong, as in the other two countries, the costs of higher-level nursing care and good quality single rooms is thus becoming very expensive and arguably unaffordable for many families.

There is increasing debate about the nature and linearity of epidemiological transition and it seems clear that protracted and overlapping transitions can occur and that reversals of health gains are possible, especially with the re-emergence of some communicable diseases (Phillips and Verhasselt 1994; Frenk et al. 1996). Transition can also clearly vary considerably between different socioeconomic groups, between rural and urban areas and within urban areas. This is clearly of great relevance to the larger countries in the Asia-Pacific region such as China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, within which there are great socio-spatial differences in the incidence and prevalence of various causes of mortality and morbidity.

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