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Report from OECD says Governments are failing to respond to needs of ageing population

Monday 18 January 2016

A recent OECD report says Governments around the world are failing to respond to the needs of an ageing population, and calls on health systems to improve their use of big data.

Ageing has a wide range of impacts on individuals and society as a whole. But the consequences for health care, working life, income and well-being in general are not always what many people imagine. “OECD Insights: Ageing: Debate the Issues” discusses the problems, challenges, and opportunities that ageing brings to citizens and governments in developed and developing countries.

Health systems are still not prepared for an ageing population, and the rapidly growing number of people with dementia is a good illustration of this problem. It is estimated that there are currently 47 million people with dementia worldwide - a figure, which is expected to rise to 76 million by 2030.

Among the OECD countries, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden and Norway have the highest prevalence rates, with 6.3% to 6.5% of the population aged over 60 estimated to be living with dementia.

While the OECD welcomes global efforts to try to find a cure, it warns that “the lives of people living with dementia remain poor in most countries.”

The report calls for governments to better train their doctors and caregivers; to equip them with better tools to assess the needs of people with dementia; facilitate improved care co-ordination – particularly across health and social care services; and encourage a better focus on measuring outcomes for people with dementia.