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"I couldn't pay my hospital bill."

Buaphan Fongfu, 78, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Buaphan Fongfu, 78, Chiang Mai, Thailand. (c) Ryan Libre/HelpAge International.

"I can't work anymore with my arthritis so the pension is my only income. It isn't enough to live on but my son, who lives with me, makes sure I have food every day.

"When I was in hospital for a heart attack, I couldn't pay the bill. My friend paid half the bill and eventually the hospital let it go.

I wouldn't be alive without government health insurance

"About 15 years ago, the government health insurance changed and now everyone benefits from that. With my thyroid and heart problems, I wouldn't be alive without it.

New laws mean I can cover my basic needs

"Sometimes I worry about how my son will manage once I'm gone. But with the new changes, such as the old age allowance, which increases when I turn 80, I can cover the basic necessities of life, and I'm happy."

Source: Danielle Michon/HelpAge International interview 2015

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