Japan which also has a rapidly ageing population has number of program, which Sri Lanka could study. One was a public insurance policy on long term care.
“When we started, there were 2 million people who were certified to be eligible to receive the care and now after 19 years of implementation, there are 6.5 million people, who are eligible to receive care,” she said.
UNFPA Country Representative for Sri Lanka, Ritsu Nacken said that multidisciplinary and multisectoral approaches should be adopted.
“I think Sri Lanka needs to get out of the health sector alone approach and look at the various different dimensions, including social services, employment,” Nacken said.
“Actually I believe Japan has quite a good employment policies for the elderly.
In Sri Lanka the share of women in the population in the older age brackets and overall is set to rise compared to men. ,” LakshmanDissanayake former Vice Chancellor, university of Colombo said by 2027 women will exceed men by 20 percent.
“However when you look at the absolute numbers and not just the proportion percentages, that will give some gravity to the issue,” he said.
“You find 289,271 excess women in 2012 and it will reach to 559,436 women in 2037,” he said.
There was a need to shift the healthcare system from curative communicable disease oriented system to the more preventive system experts said.
Conditions such as heart disease was becoming increasingly prevalent, especially in urban areas.
“In the 2012 census data the percentage of suffering from heart diseases in the urban setting was 54.9 percent, Shiromi Maduwage, Consultant Community physician, Elderly and Disability Health Care unit, Ministry of Health said.
“And when it comes to rural areas, it was 52.9 percent and in estates 35.5 percent.
“Non-communicable diseases are very common among the elderly.”
In Sri Lanka women also make up a smaller share of the working population, leaving them with bigger challenges later in life.
The current working population would also have to support growing ageing workers.