MEDICAL AND HEALTH CARE
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Thailand’s population as of April 2011 is approximately 66,720,000 billion with structures of age group 0-14 acquiring a 20% that of the whole population , 71% representing ages 15-64 and 9% representing age 65 and above. The country being one of the Third World countries has its population estimated to grow even higher with 0.5 % by the end of year 2011, due to uncontrolled birth rate compared to death rates of the elderly people (International Data Base, 2011).
The age group bracket 60 and above represents the older people in Thailand who only present a 9% of the total population countrywide. According to (Knodel & Chayovan 2009), in Thailand the ageing population is among the most growing rates in the Asian continent. Between year 1960 and year 2000, the rate increased from 5% in the 60s to 9% in 2000 millennium. However the figures are pre judged to rise by year 2020 with an increase of 18% of the total country’s population. In addition an increase is characterized with the rate of older age group surpassing that of the general population. The difference between the male and the female in this group is approximately 0.8%.
The rate of rise in older population is likely to exert more efforts on the public health due to the care that these individuals within this group require for the state of bodies prone to chronic diseases. Knodel and Chayovan (2011, p. 25) argue that the elderly will need dedicated attention due to high prevalence of illnesses requiring the government to formulate policies to cater for this bulging demand, leading to more use of resources towards health care issues of this group.
According to (Jitapunkul & Wivatvanit 2009), the rate of life expectancy in Thailand is more emphasized at the median age of 74, from age cap 60 and above. Therefore, the health sector has to integrate comprehensive measure against the trending rise in this group, which raises expectations of quality medical facilities to cater for illnesses that these people may have. This calls for more reforms in the public health especially to cater for the elderly in major areas such as vaccination against chronic diseases, good health and control, occasional health monitoring, medical technological advancements, clean environment and water. Thailand is a developing country with income levels varying such that access to health care depends on the resources to attain them.
Based on the portrayed statistics in (Rees & Karcharnubarn 2009) the expectancy will grow in alignment to the growth rate of this group. However the country situation in 50 years to 100 years can not be as severe as in the current situation due to the expected changes that will be experienced then. For instance, more use of technological advancements in health care provision, the health issues that are present portray a state of high death rates caused by the same advancements as a result of accidents rates, cancer rate at age 50, environmental degradation exposing harmful and fatal pathogen, disasters and global political instability.
In conclusion, the aging number of people in Thailand and the world at large will shift from 60 to 50 due to increase in varieties of diseases that are affecting people, especially cancer and diabetes between ages 40 to 50, which are fueled by changing factors in the world
Jitapunkul, S & Wivatvanit, S 2009, ‘ Natiopnal policies and programs for the aging population in Thailand’, Ageing International, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 62-74.
Knodel, J & Chayovan, P 2011, ‘Intergenerational family care for and by older people in Thailand’, pp. 1-27.
Knodel, J & Chayovan, P 2009, ‘Older Persons in Thailand: A demographic social and economic profile’, Ageing International, vol.33, no, 1, pp.3-14.
Rees, P & Karcharnubarn, R 2009, ‘Population ageing and healthy life expectancy in Thailand’, pp. 1-24.
U.S. Census Bureau. International Data Base (IDB). http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/country.php (accessed April 29,2011)