KOICA shares Korea’s policies on aging society with government of Paraguay
- KOICA shares research and Korean policy model with Paraguay regarding long-term social welfare policy for older people
- Paraguayan government to refer to Korean model when establishing related policies in the future
KOICA held an online conference to advise on the establishment of a long-term social welfare policy model for older people on April 28 (local time), proposing the Korean elderly care model as a policy solution to the issue of long-term elderly care in developing countries that have entered aging societies.
At the conference, KOICA shared the results of a study on older people in Paraguay, conducted jointly with Chung-Ang University, with relevant ministries in Paraguay including the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare. The government of Paraguay said it plans to introduce a long-term elderly care policy in its country for the first time based on the results of the study.
According to the World Bank, Paraguay has entered an aging society with people aged 65 or older constituting about 7% of the total population in 2020 due to declining birth and mortality rates. The total fertility rate in Paraguay fell from 5.7 in the 1970s to 2.7 in the 2020s, while mortality rates nearly halved from 8.5 to 4.8 during the same period. However, since there was no long-term care policy on the national level for the older population, economically vulnerable seniors were deprived of appropriate treatment.
Since 2016, KOICA has been implementing a project to support the health of Paraguay’s vulnerable older people (“Project of Construction of Long-term Health and Social Care Facility for the Elderly in Paraguay” 2016-2020/$10 million). This conference took place to propose policies for long-term elder care for officials from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of Paraguay, which are in charge of establishing health policy.
At the conference, the results of a survey on the status of older people, conducted twice over a period of four years by KOICA and Chung-Ang University, were shared. An in-depth survey of 790 people aged 60 or older showed that gender, area of residence, and socioeconomic background affect the health of the elderly. Based on these findings, it was suggested that integrated care services that fully reflect demographic analysis are needed when establishing care services in Paraguay.
In addition, Korean health experts shared Korea’s welfare policy model for older people with Paraguay’s officials, introducing policies regarding low birth rates and an aging society, and cases on community-centered care services.
Since 2008, Korea has implemented a long-term care insurance system for the elderly that provides nursing, medical assistance, bathing services and cooking for older people who are unable to function alone in daily activities due to poor health, adopting various methods such as salary support or other services.
A consultative body for long-term care policy made up of Paraguay’s Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (MSPyBs), Institute of Social Welfare (IBS), and the Division of Older Persons (DAM) presented on the current situation of Paraguay’s elder welfare policies, and expressed a strong will to benchmark Korea’s policies while adjusting them to fit Paraguay’s situation.
Some 160 officials participated in the conference, including Ambassador of Korea to Paraguay Woo In-shik, Deputy Country Director of the KOICA Office in Paraguay Kim Min-seong, and Vice Minister Victor Martínez of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of Paraguay.
Ambassador Woo said, “It is a great pleasure to be able to contribute to the development of Paraguay by sharing Korea’s policies that prepare for an aging society,” and added that “cooperation and communication between relevant bodies is crucial for this project to act as a stepping stone for Paraguay’s elder care and welfare policies.”
Vice Minister Martínez said, “In Paraguay, not all older people are able to benefit from welfare due to the wealth gap. I hope that through this conference, we can establish the foundation for equal policy for Paraguay’s older population and create a society where they can live happily.”
Meanwhile, KOICA plans to officially open the Santo Domingo complex, established in Asunción for the medical care, daily care, and long-term care of vulnerable older people as part of this project, within the year.
A conference to support the establishment of policies for the vulnerable older population in Paraguay takes place online on April 28 (local time)
Vice Minister Victor Martínez of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of Paraguay speaks at a conference to support the establishment of policies for the vulnerable older population in Paraguay on April 28 (local time)
Korean experts introduce Korea’s policies at a conference to support the establishment of policies for the vulnerable older population in Paraguay on April 28 (local time)