THE ageing population in Malaysia is rising and necessary steps are crucial to prepare for this unprecedented demographic patterns, said deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
He said people over 65 years of age comprise between 15% and 30% of the population, with the elderly population growing at a rate of 2.4% yearly.
Dr Lee said by the end of the century, the ageing population would increase to 35%.
“In Japan and other developed countries, 50% of the population will be more than 60 years of age, and Malaysia is not far from reaching this situation.
“It is of great importance to adopt interdisciplinary approaches to deal with such imminent challenges.
“Such countries must increase their capacities in terms of reducing the rate of disease-disability, and improving the quality of life for the elderly population,” he said in a speech at the Second International Conference of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with the theme “Integrating Research Innovation, Technology, Practices Towards Sustainable Health” organised by UniKL Royal College of Medicine Perak.
He thanked UniKL for its commitment to improve healthcare through a systematic approach of integrating research, innovation and advanced technology.
“The government is committed to ensure that every Malaysian has access to the best healthcare facilities available with our limited resources.
“We also understand the comprehensive and integrated nature of sustaining quality healthcare.
“It means that we have only one way of succeeding, that is through partnership, and collaboration with stakeholders across sectoral, and government boundaries,” he added.
Dr Lee hoped the conference would generate great ideas in supporting the government’s policy of providing quality healthcare to the people.
The event’s organising committee advisor Prof Dr Ahmad Fuad Shamsuddin said he was confident that the concept of sharing ideas, and experiences among participants would add value to the conference.
He said in the realm of healthcare it was impossible to work alone, and that the essence was in teamwork.
“This conference provides the avenue for discussion, and clarification of each discipline towards multidisciplinary healthcare,” he added.
The event’s organising committee chairman Associate Prof Dr Zaswiza Mohamad Noor said in view of the ever advancing parameters of health, and related sciences, and the flurry of international collaborations, she felt UniKL should play a leading role in promoting scientific activities geared towards the promotion of health across the globe.
“We don’t just intend to have exchange of information among people from across the world, but also promote cooperation between different scientific cultures through collaborative research. This conference provides an excellent platform for research across the globe to share their findings, and allow the young researchers to light up their candles,” she added.
Dr Zaswiza said undoubtedly with the spread of new diseases, and the emergence of resistant microbes, it is indeed essential to integrate research into practice, and vice versa.
“The threat of the ‘superbug’ is undeniably treacherous, and categorically baneful to society.
“We have to come up with quick solutions before it is too late, and the objective of the conference is to share views of such, and alike topics,” she added.