Vietnam needs to devise a long-term strategy to tackle the aging problems, focusing on welfare policies, communication campaigns, investments in education, and medical services.

Elderly people currently account for 10 percent of the country’s population and will reach 26 percent by 2050, heard a workshop that sought to raise public awareness and prepare for ageing and to promote the role of social welfare in caring for the elderly.

The event in Hanoi on November 27 was a joint effort made by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the German development cooperation agency GIZ, the Vietnam National Committee on Ageing (VNCA) and the Institute of Public Policy and Management (IPPM).

It was reported that only 21.9 percent of the elderly living in the countryside and 35.6 percent of those living in the cities receive state pensions.

Besides, according to a national poll, only 4.8 percent of elderly Vietnamese are healthy, whilst 65.4 percent are having health problems.

As much as 26.1 percent of the elderly is not covered by any types of health insurance and up to 51 percent cannot afford medical treatment.

Nguyen Trong Dam, Deputy Minister of the MoLISA, said Vietnam is becoming an aging country, which indicates, on the one hand, constant improvements made in people’s living conditions, and on the other hand, a personnel shortage facing the workforce.

He raised the fact that only 20 percent of workers join social insurance, leaving a burden on the State budget required to take care of the elderly.-VNA