A Kuwaiti official said Sunday a meeting of the Gulf committee for elderly care reflected the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) keenness to further improve health care for senior citizens.
Dr. Qais Al-Duwairi, Assistant Undersecretary for Technical Affairs at the Health Ministry, said the committee was committed to providing care for the elderly people.
Addressing the first session of the two-day committee meeting, Al-Duwairi noted there were 45,150 Kuwaiti senior citizens representing three percent of the Kuwaiti population.
He said this percentage might increase to 15.7 percent by the year 2030 because life expectency was increasing to 79.2 years old, which required all-out preparations to provide preventive, medical and rehabilitation services.
Al-Duwairi said the elderly required special attention and those people have special psychological, health, social and economic needs.
He said the committee members would exchange information and expertise regarding national strategies and executive plans over the care of the elderly.
Al-Duwairi said one of the major obstacles facing the primary health care was the lack of integrated preventive programs for the senior citizens as well as pelliative care.
"We are planning to establish 10 clinics for the elderly in every Health Area, and five of them to be opened this year once the medical staff is ready," he said.
Dr. Muna Al-Mahmoud, head of the senior citizens services at Bahrain's health ministry, said services for the elderly people were based on health, social development and surrounding environment.