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Aging Society Cited as a Challenge for Thailand

12 March 2018 (Readers 132)

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has cited the situation that Thailand is entering an aging society as one of the challenges for the country.
In his national address on 9 March 2018, the Prime Minister said that, by 2020, the aging population in Thailand would account for 20 percent of the countrys total population. This means that one out of five people would be an older person, aged 60 and over.
He explained that, by then, the proportion of the working-age population would continue to decline and that Thailand would be faced with several problems. For instance, younger people would shoulder a burden in taking care of a greater number of older persons. They must also work harder to develop the country and maintain its competitiveness.
The Government would spend more budget allocations on looking after older persons. There would be an insufficient workforce to contribute to the growing economy in the future. A number of migrant workers might return to their countries, where demand for labor would increase. In such a situation, Thailand would face shortages of both the working-age population and migrant workers.
In a related issue, Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya on 9 March 2018 chaired a meeting on strategies to prepare Thailand for the aging society. The meeting heard a report stating that in 2021, the number of older persons in Thailand would represent more than 20 percent of the countrys total population.
In this regard, the Government needs to encourage all sectors of society to be aware of the situation and to realize the urgent need to deal with the problems that may arise. It calls for integrated operations to translate the Governments policies on older persons into action.
The policies include savings for public health services and pensions, the grouping of senior citizens, employment opportunities, suitable housing for the elderly, and age-friendly communities and cities. Moreover, there must be caring systems in the medium term and long term. In response to these policies, incentives should be offered to private companies to encourage them to help take care of older persons. 
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