The increase in life expectancy in the country has led to newer health challenges in the community. What are those challenges and what steps need to be taken to meet them?

Sample Answer


The increase in life expectancy from 60 (1990) to 70 (2019) is set to double share of senior citizens from 8% (2011) to 16% (2040). This presents a challenge to our healthcare policies.


Healthcare challenges

  • Waning of infectious diseases and emergence of chronic diseases.
  • Age-related disabilities (40%) such as dementia, hearing and vision loss etc. 
  • Mental health issues (20%) due to loneliness.  
  • Absence of dedicated ward for elders.
  • Higher focus on women and child health and neglect of geriatric care.
  • Only 18% of elders covered under insurance programmes.

Steps needed

  • Enhance Public Expenditure to provide for Preventive, curative, restorative and rehabilitative services through Tiered geriatric healthcare
  • Strengthen Health and Wellness Centres at Village level
  • Dedicated wards at district level
  • National and regional institutes of Ageing

Focus on Silver Economy

  • Geriatric healthcare and products Ex: Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana
  • Start-ups: Incentives for developing aged-care products Ex: SAGE Portal.
  • IT Sector: Home automation, Telemedicine, Database Management
  • Enhance insurance coverage under Ayushman Bharat.
  • Increase awareness and early detection of diseases.


The 21st century demography demands a new outlook of aging population as drivers of GDP. Hence, above strategies can lead to win-win situation and help us become $ 5 trillion economy.

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