Dr. Harischandra Yakandawala
Former programme officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the chairman and founder of Village 60 Plus, Dr. Harischandra Yakandawala said that although the life expectancy in Sri Lanka is high, it is not a productive life expectancy.
“From my observations 60% of the individuals who are more than 40 years of age take medicine. By 70 nearly 90% of people take medicine. The life expectancy has increased because healthcare facilities have increased and there is treatments available for diseases,” he said.
Dr. Harischandra further said that there are no facilities to provide the registration of private healthcare services like elders homes although the elderly population is increasing and the demand for these services are increasing.
Dr. Harischandra also said that elders’ homes set up by the government and even those run by non- governmental organisations receive no concrete support and survive mostly from donations. “The government provides only Rs. 300 a month for each individual and Rs. 100,000 per month for renovation. Each person requires 90 meals per month and with medical facilities these funds are not sufficient,” he said.
Speaking further, Dr. Harischandra said that the retirement age should be increased so that the elderly remain occupied. Staying alone and unoccupied is one of the main reasons for contracting mental illnesses,” he said.