Against the backdrop of rapid ageing populations, there is an increasing recognition of the need to integrate various health services for the elderly, not only to provide more coordinated care, but also to contain the rapid cost inflation driven primarily by the curative sector. Funded by the Asia-Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, this scoping review seeks to synthesize the received knowledge on care integration for the elderly in four Asian societies representing varying socioeconomic and health-system characteristics: Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The search for English-language literature published between 2009 and 2019 yielded 67 publications in the final sample. The review finds that both research and practice regarding health service integration are at a preliminary stage of development. It notes a marked trend in seeking to integrate long-term elderly care with curative and preventive care, especially in community settings. Many distinctive models proliferated. Integration is demonstrated not only horizontally but also vertically, transcending public-private boundaries. The central role of primary care is highly prominent in almost all the integration models. However, these models are associated with a variety of drawbacks in relation to capacity, perception, and operation that necessitate further scholarly and policy scrutiny, indicating the robustness and persistence of siloed healthcare practices. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s).
CitationHe, A. J., & Tang, V. F. Y. (2021). Integration of health services for the elderly in Asia: A scoping review of Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia. Health Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2020.12.020
- Care integration
- Scoping review
- Health system