Not enough geriatricians for the elderly in Mexico

There are over 12 million people above the age of 60 in Mexico and only 550 geriatricians

Not enough geriatricians for the elderly in Mexico
There are 11,000 people living above the age of 100 in Mexico - Photo: Gael Vega/EL UNIVERSAL
English 28/08/2018 18:56 Newsroom Mexico City Perla Miranda and Pedro Villa y Caña Actualizada 18:58
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There are more than 12 million people over the age of 60 in Mexico and there are only 550 geriatrics specialists in the country to tend to senior citizens’ needs.

In commemorating the Day of the Elderly, Luis Miguel Gutiérrez, general director of the National Geriatrics Institute told in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL that the ideal number of geriatricians would be of five thousand, but only 100 of them graduate every year.

“Geriatricians are clearly insufficient as we are ten times below the number of geriatricians needed. We are currently unable to meet those numbers because universities are only generating 100 geriatrics specialists per year. A plausible solution would be to teach geriatric care to general physicians in the country, thus reducing the deficiency,” the director stated.

Statistics from the Finance Committee of Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) show that there are 11,000 people living above the age of 100 in Mexico, which is higher than the 7,650 people registered in the year 2,000.

The need for more geriatricians in the country is urgent and pressing, according to Gutiérrez Robledo, who explained that, by the year 2050, it is estimated that there will be 17 million people of 70 years or more who will be in need of specialized geriatrics or gerontology services, not to mention that people who are currently between the ages of 30 and 40 are the most unhealthy in history.

Gutiérrez Robledo explained that, despite the fact that Mexicans live 76 years on average, the amount of time they live without health problems is only of 63 years: “So, on average, we spend between 10 and 13 years in poor health conditions, incapacity and dependency.”

Diabetes mellitus is the main cause of healthy years lost among Mexicans, followed by ischaemic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, damage to the sense organs, and cardiovascular ailments.


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