Ageing population is requiring the health system to renew in terms of services provision and healthcare finance, heard a seminar in Hanoi on April 21.

According to experts, Vietnam’s population is aging at one of the world’s five fastest paces, which will result in the lack of human resources for national development in the coming decades.

Statistics show that there were more than 8.6 million elderly people of 60 years old and above in 2011, accounting for nearly 10 percent of Vietnam’s population, while the rate of over 65-year-old was 7 percent and is predicted to rise rapidly to 14.75 percent by 2039.

Meanwhile, the group of the elderly, while accounting for only 10-20 percent of the population, uses up to 70 percent of a nation’s total medical expenses and 50 percent of medicine consumption.

Difficulties faced by the health sector when implementing the health insurance coverage for all people were also put on table.

Participants proposed amending policies and laws on health insurance and better controlling the cost for treatment of health insurance card users.

As of December 31, 2013, more than 61 million people participated in health insurance, accounting for 69 percent of the total population.

Vietnam is striving to expand the coverage to 80 percent of the population by 2020.

During the seminar, the Japan International Cooperation Agency presented the results of its survey on the health insurance coverage and ageing population in Vietnam, which had been carried out in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and the provinces of Dien Bien, Nam Dinh and Hoa Binh from January 5-22 and from February 16-March 1.

It pointed out shortcomings faced by the sector in these issues, including the lack of geriatricians and the unclear classification of health insurance users.-VNA