4 Jun 2012

Fiji prepares for rapid rise in elderly population

3:25 pm on 4 June 2012

Fiji is expecting a rapid rise in its elderly population with those over eighty the fastest growing age group.

The Permanent Secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation says his recent presentation at a health symposium in Suva aimed to raise awareness across government agencies so older people receive better care.

Govind Sami says by 2020 Fiji will need to care for over 9000 people in the over 80 age group.

"Its a big number for a small country like ours. And if they are in isolated rural communities then how do you cater for them? What about medical facilities/ Should medical facilities be taken to them or do you expect them to travel long distances and come to the hospital?"

Govind Sami says health authorities need to refocus their plans and health support for elderly to include issues such as eye care, dementia and lifestyle diseases.