HM The Queen's speech at All India Institute for Medical Science

New Delhi, India

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Your Excellences,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished guests.

Thank you for receiving us here today.

It is with great joy that I note the good long-term cooperation between our countries in the health sector.

On completion of ten years of the health MoU, 2019 is being celebrated as India-Sweden Year of Health.

We are here today to share from our experiences and to learn from yours. And I hope that todays’ event will be the first of many on how we can work together to improve the care for our elderly.

Sweden and India differ in many ways. But both our countries face the challenges of an ageing population.

Every 3 seconds, someone in the world develops dementia.

Now, and now.

Today, around 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia. This number is expected to reach more than 130 million in 2050.

This makes dementia one of the largest, most complex and challenging health issues facing humanity today.

As some of you may know, this is an issue especially close to my heart. In the 1990’s I saw my mother suffer from Alzheimer’s. They were difficult years, for my mother but also for us, her loved ones.

However, as painful as that experience it was, it also taught me a lot. And it was the start of my personal commitment to improving the care of elderly and dementia patients.

In 1996, we founded the Silviahemmet Foundation. Today, we educate professionals from the whole care chain. And the overarching vision is the same today as it was 23 years ago: to improve the quality of life for persons affected by dementia and their families.

Ladies and gentlemen. Never before have we had so much knowledge about dementia diseases as we do today. And never before has there been a greater ambition and determination to fight them. It fills me with hope to be here today and to see the commitment that exists for this cause.

Looking ahead, it is important that elderly care services are available to everyone in need, women and men alike, regardless of socioeconomic, cultural or ethnic background.

I am proud that Sweden has become a leader in enabling senior citizens to keep living in their own homes for as long as possible – even when in need of extensive care and social services.

Cooperation is, as always, key. Different actors – both public and private – must work together to ensure a dignified care for elderly in need. And we must be open to learning from each other.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for taking the time to come here today and for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. I now look forward to seeing the rest of your premises, and to learn more about your work.

Thank you.