Dr. Clement Leung Kwok Chan

NTUC Health, Singapore

Title: Elderly Care in World and Singapore-problems or Prospect?



1. Population ageing is a global phenomenon (1):

Virtually every country has similar ageing population growth. For those aged 65 or above, it was around 6% world population in 1990, rising to703 million (9%) in 2019 and expected to be 1.5 billion (16%) in 2050

2. Population ageing fastest in Eastern & South-Eastern Asia, and Latin America & Caribbean (1).

For E & SE Asia, it was around 6% of the population in 1990 rising to 11% in 2019.
For Latin America & Caribbean, it was around 5% in 1990, rising to 9% in 2019
From 2019 to 2050, share of elderly projected increased to 2 folds in E & SE Asia, Central & S Asia, N Africa & W Asia, & Latin Am. & Caribbean.

3. Population ageing will put increased financial pressure on old-age support systems (1).

4. Population ageing does not lead inevitably to macroeconomic decline—with well-chosen policies, opposite may be true (1).

5. Singapore(2):

In Singapore, the increase in life expectancy plus decrease in birth rates leads to an aging population with unfavourable old aged support ratio.
In 2018, Singapore is one of highest life expectancies in world.
In 2017, Singapore showed lowest fertility rate in world (0.83 children/woman)
In 2035, it is estimated that 32 % Singaporeans will be aged 65 or above.
The median age is 39.7 in 2015 increasing to 53.4 in 2050.
The demographic shift in Singaporean society means
1. there is decreased workforce to support the ageing population;
2. there is less support from the family as young generation tends to live away from parents

6. Problems:

Unfavourable Dependency ratio
Decreased workforce unless the retirement age is delayed
Increased health cost
Increased infrastructure cost e.g. housing, environment
Increased social welfare expenditure e.g. subsidy
Increased taxation
Increased insurance premium

7. Prospects:

Recognition of the importance to maintain health despite of aging (3)
Recognition the virtues of the elderly and apply to contribute back to the society (3)
Research, development and application of telemedicine and smart home concept to help improve safety of elderly living alone without support
Research and development of strategies to increase fertility rate


Worked in HKU, CUHK, University of London, Monash University, National University of Singapore (NUS), Clermont-Ferrand University, Bristol University, Cambridge University and University of Tasmania. He was Associate Professor in O&G Department, and Associate Professor at Institute of Molecular & Cell biology, NUS. He was Chair and Professor, O&G Discipline, at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Examiners for many Universities for Undergraduates; for the RCOG, RANZCOG, and HKCOG for Membership & Fellowship examinations.On Medico-Legal Expert list in Hong Kong & Australia. More than 170 papers in indexed journals, abstracts in Conferences & chapters in books He was an editor for several books and journals.

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