Thursday February 22, 2024

Majority of elders lack access to specialised healthcare services

July 30, 2020

Islamabad : A vast majority of elder persons do not have access to a basic pension or specialised healthcare services in Pakistan. Around 40.6 per cent of the people over the age of 60 has depression.

The facts around the old age population in Pakistan were shared in a report ‘State of PWD Well-Being in Pakistan’ launched at an online session on ‘Disability Burden and Old Age Well-Being in Pakistan’ organised by the Social Protection Resource Centre (SPRC).

Secretary Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) Rabiya Javeri Agha moderated the session. The session panellists included social policy analyst Asghar Zaidi, Principal Clinical Psychologist for Brothers of Charity Services, Ireland, Dr. Akhtar Ali Syed, and Executive Director of SPRC Dr. Safdar Sohail.

The speakers said that for older people to live their life with equality, dignity, and freedom, it is essential that socio-economic policies, legislations, and programs consider the multi-sectoral implications on an aging population. They shared that there are 12.5 million older men and women in Pakistan, placing it among the group of only 15 countries in the world that have more than 10 million aged persons.

The panellists appreciated the fact that Pakistan’s culture and religion gives deference to the elderly but said that changing demographics, industrialisation, rising inflation, urban-rural migration, are however seeing a shift to more independent ways of living, shrinking family structures and a slow deterioration of inter-generational ties.