[Letters] Whither senior health care?Recently, a question was raised in the United States as to whether redirecting the health care budget originally spent on the elderly to the younger generation was necessary. Many critics say that the United States devotes too large a budget to the elderly, who have a slim chance of recovering, without letting young children have health insurance. They claim that more money should be spent on the young rather than dying, aged people. However, others say that it seems somewhat irrational to decrease care for the people who will make up more than 38% of the world population in the near future.
Also under debate is who should be the first to get the vaccine for the new A (H1N1) virus. It seems plausible that old people deserve to receive it first due to their weakened immune systems, but many people say that pregnant women and young children are prone to getting the disease as well, and they should get the vaccine first. These people also claim that younger people have more potential to live longer when cured.
With extremely low fertility rates throughout many parts of the world, it is estimated that our era will consist of a larger proportion of aged people than ever before. An aging society means an increase in the number of elderly who demand more care. While many people continue to challenge how right it is for the elderly to receive extensive care, it is an undeniable fact that our world is becoming an aged society.
Whether old people should be the primary focus of care is arguable, but with the growing number of elderly compared to the younger population, caring for old people can never be neglected. The extent of proper care we give for old people should be carefully considered; we can no longer leave our elders in the mountains as was the practice, according to legend, in ancient Korea.
Hong Seung-hwan, a senior at Anyang Foreign Language High School