Thailand's elderly master plan behind schedule

The master plan sets five objectives – make preparations on the health, income and housing fronts; enhance the elderly’s capacity; expand safety and convenience for travelling and long-term care; streamline the operations of agencies; and raise public awareness.Thailand

According to one Government official quoted in an article in The Nation, the master plan for 2002-21 is “now at the halfway point without any concrete achievements. There are multiple measures that are not enforced, though projects to deal with different aspects must be implemented at the same time.”

In Thailand, from 2022, every year one million will join the ageing group. The government will not be able to sustain them under the current circumstances.

According to the United Nations Population Fund’s Thailand office, in 2008, the government financed 23 per cent of total health expenditures of Bt367 billion, which accounted for 4.25 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). Much of the expense is financed by the elderly or their families. In 2009, their personal care expenditures reached Bt122.3 billion or 29 per cent of the total and could rise to Bt210.4 billion or 31 per cent in 2015.

By comparison, Singapore’s public health burden, 0.8 per cent of GDP as of 2005, is expected to rise as the share of persons aged 65 years and above is estimated to increase from the current 8.5 per cent to 19 per cent in 2030 and 27 per cent in 2050.