New global initiatives in combining mental healthcare with primary healthcare for the elderly were the focus of a workshop held by the Central Geriatric Hospital under the Ministry of Public Health in Hanoi on June 30.

Representatives from the Vietnam Public Health Association said dementia is a serious problem for old people, which needs control on a global scale.

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According to general research of the syndrome in Vietnam conducted by the Association, the rate of the elderly suffering from dementia and senility in the country is between 4-8 percent. Diagnosis of the disease is complicated, mainly based on clinical signs and expensive testing.

The nation lacks services and means to treat mental disorders and has yet to build prevention programmes.

Participants underlined the necessity for the State to increase investments in the field. Associate Professor PhD Bui Thi Xuan Mai from the University of Labour and Society said services to care for older people in Vietnam is limited and nonprofessional.

Social work in hospitals should receive additional attention to improve the efficiency of healthcare services for patients, especially the elderly, she stressed.

Source: VNA