International Day of Older Persons

01 October 2015
Elderly people
[1 October 2015] - "PSI marks the International Day of Older Persons by calling attention to the global shortage of health and social service workers. This shortage is seriously jeopardizing the health and well-being of millions of older people who need a wide range of care," said PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli.

The global healthcare worker shortage exceeds 7 million globally and is projected to double by 2035 unless action is taken. A new ILO study reveals a global shortage of nearly 14 million social care service workers. Despite the shortage, the sector is noted for its low job growth, low wages and precarious working conditions because most governments won’t let health ministries make the investments needed. The situation is worsened by the dismal level of benefits for long-term care; fewer than 6 per cent of people in the world live in countries where long-term care is integrated into universal health coverage.

Rosa Pavanelli warns:

“Governments must ensure that older people are protected, it is part of their basic functions. The market will only protect those who can afford to pay. Corporations are already cherry-picking in the sector, selling services to the wealthy and to others only when there are government subsidies.”

"PSI health affiliates are campaigning for Safe and Effective Staffing. Successful changes in staffing laws and policies to reduce workloads will increase recruitment, retention and the working conditions of healthcare workers. This will lead to higher quality services for all, and move us closer to achieving truly universal health coverage."

“Governments need to implement the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, where they have agreed to substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries.”

Underpinning all of this is the need to finance public services. PSI calls on all affiliates to support the global tax justice advocacy, which is designed to ensure that all pay their fair share of taxes, including multinational corporations and the planet’s richest 1%.

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