GUIDELINES ON THE GRANT OF TWENTY PERCENT (20%) DISCOUNT TO SENIOR CITIZENS ON HEALTH RELATED GOODS AND SERVICES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
The proportion of older persons is expected to rise worldwide. In the 1998 World Health Report, there were 390 million older people and this figure is expected to increase further (WHO). This growth will certainly pose a challenge to country governments, particularly to the developing countries, in caring for their aging population. In the Philippines, the population of 60 years or older was 3.7 million in 1995 or 5.4% of total population. In the CY 2000 census, this has increased to about 4.8 million or almost 6% (NSCB). At present there are 7M senior citizens (6.9% of the total population), 1.3M of which are indigents.
With the rise of the aging population is the increase in the demand for health services by the elderly. A study done by Racelis et al (2003) on the share of health expenditure of Filipino elderly on the National Health Account, the elderly are "relatively heavy consumers of personal health care (22%) and relatively light consumers of public health care (5%)." From out-of-pocket costs, the aged are heavy users of care provided by medical centers, hospitals, non-hospital health facilities and traditional care facilities.
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