Draft law sets minimum age for VN seniors at 60

Ha Noi — Under the leadership of Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly, Tong Thi Phong, the NA Standing Committee yesterday discussed the draft Law on Health Examination and Treatment and the Law on the Elderly.

The draft Law o­n the Elderly sets the minimum age for senior citizens at 60.

The name of the health law has sparked a hot discussion among the committee members.

Tran Dinh Dan, director of the National Assembly Office, and Ha Van Hien, director of the Economic Committee, expressed their approval of the suggested name.

"That name is appropriate under the jurisdiction of the law as it covers all aspects relating to medical practice and other concerned issues."

Le Thi Thu Ba, director of the Judiciary Committee, and Tran The Vuong, head of the Ombudsman Committee, were of a different opinion.

They suggested the law should be named "the Law o­n Medical Practice."

They argued such a name would provide a good legal foundation for solving some of the existing problems in health examination and treatment, particularly the relationships among health workers and patients, health clinics, the State and society.

"Subjects under the jurisdiction of the law will be wide ranging, including people working in the field of preventive medicine, medical equipment and health examination and treatment," they said.

On the issue of occupational certificates and operating licences for health clinics, the majority of committee members agreed with what had been written in the draft law – that they should be issued o­nly o­nce.

However, they said, the certificates and licences could be revoked if serious legal violations were found.

Committee members also discussed whether or not public medical staff should be allowed to work in the private sector. The majority said they should.

Moonlighting at private clinics would also help solve the problem of overloaded public hospitals, they said.

Regarding the draft Law o­n the Elderly, participants said it should o­nly be applicable to Vietnamese citizens aged 60 or over.

Phung Quoc Hien, director of the Financial and Budgetary Committee, said the law compiling committee should consider carefully whether the State could afford the cost of the draft law, regarding the subsidised services planned for the elderly.

Lessons learned

Later in the day, NA chairman Nguyen Phu Trong led the Standing Committee in a discussion about what was learned at the last meeting of the NA in May and a brainstorm of initial ideas for the 6th session later this year.

The 6th session will last for 29 days, starting o­n October 21 and wrapping up o­n November 27 this year, according to NA Office head Tran Dinh Dan.

In this session, the NA has 16 days allotted to creating laws, which will include the passing of eight laws and discussing of 12 new laws.

The eight laws to be passed include those related to the elderly, health examination and treatment, telecommunications, radio frequency, cryptography, militia, as well as amendments and addendum to articles of the laws o­n education and natural resource tax.

The twelve laws to be discussed include revised laws o­n the State Bank of Viet Nam and o­n credit institutions, laws related to the sea, land and house tariffs, adoption, civil sentence execution, information access, energy usage efficiency, food safety, the disabled, postal services and trade arbitrators.

Chairman Trong agreed with the plans and asked the NA Office, Council of Ethnic Minorities and NA committees to co-operate closely with the Government Office and related agencies to prepare carefully for the meeting.

According to the NA Standing Committee, citizens throughout the country have voiced their support to the results of the NA’s 5th session, saying that the issues discussed in the session were practical and partly alleviated worries of the public such as the stimulus package, management of exports, electricity price hikes and bauxite exploitation in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands).