27/11/2014 - Most countries in the Asia/Pacific region need to step up their efforts to give more people access to affordable, quality health care. Too many people, especially women, cannot get the medical treatment they need due to high costs, difficulties in getting permission to see a doctor or a lack of health care providers in rural areas, according to a new OECD report.
Despite these issues, Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2014 reveals that life expectancy at birth across 22 Asian countries reached 73.4 years on average in 2012, a gain of about seven years since 1990. In comparison, OECD countries gained 5.3 years during the same period.
But a large regional divide persists: the country with the longest life expectancy is Hong Kong, China with 83.3 years for both men and women. Japan, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Macau, China also exceeded 80 years for total life expectancy.
In contrast, eleven countries in the Asia/Pacific region had total life expectancies of less than 70 years, and in Papua New Guinea and Myanmar, a child born in 2012 can expect to live an average of less than or equal to 65 years of life.
The report also reveals the high prevalence of diabetes in Asia/Pacific, which accounted for over 60% of the 5.1 million deaths worldwide caused by the disease in 2013. About 215 million people live with diabetes in the region and half of them are undiagnosed and unaware of developing long-term complications.
Diabetes among adults aged 20-79 years, prevalence estimates, 2035
Other findings of Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2014 include:
Health care resources
Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2014, a joint publication with the World Health Organisation, presents key indicators on health status, determinants of health, health care resources and utilisation, health expenditure and financing, and quality of care for 27 Asia/Pacific countries and economies. This report offers a comprehensive and user-friendly framework to help policy makers design and implement better policies to support countries’ progress towards universal health coverage – and improve the health of their populations.
More information and country notes are available at www.oecd.org/health/health-at-a-glance-asia-pacific-23054964.htm
For further information, contact:
Luca Lorenzoni of the OECD Health Division (+33 1 45 24 76 21 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kenichiro Taneda of the Health Services Development (HSD) division of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (+63 2 5289883 or email@example.com)
Sunil Senanayake of the Health Systems Management and Patient Safety division of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Regional Office for South-East Asia (+91 11 2330 9330 or firstname.lastname@example.org)