PM calls for more care services for the elderly people

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai (third from left, first row) asked relevant ministries to work with the Vietnam Elders’ Association (VEA) to provide the best possible care services for the elders.

In a working session with the VEA's Central Committee o­n April 10, the Government leader praised the activities of the elderly people’s associations at different levels over the past years which, he said, have contributed to the country’s common cause of the o­n-going renovation process.

PM Khai stressed that the majority of elderly people in Vietnam have a firm political stand and life experience attained through the challenges during the two struggles for national salvation, thus becoming a reliable and strong support for the Party and State.

PM Khai said that the elders’ associations at all levels should continue to promote policies aimed at caring for and bringing the role of the elderly people into full play, thus helping move the country forward.

The Government leader noted that in today’s society, it is especially important for the elderly to take an active part in educating young people and the community so as to build happy families with children who are dutiful to their parents, eager to learn and who want to lead a cultural life.

Regarding the project to set up a fund for the elderly, PM Khai said efforts should be made to provide health care services and housing for elderly people in need.

It is important to work out a mechanism to help elderly association members borrow money from social policy banks to alleviate their poverty and help them develop a way to make a living, with priority given to ethnic minority groups, he said.

The ministries of Finance and Labour-Invalids-Social Affairs are authorised to examine projects o­n building centres to care for and promote the role of old people.

The PM agreed to set June 6 as the annual Vietnam Elderly People’s Day.

A report delivered by VEA Chairman Vu Oanh shows that Vietnam currently has about 1,4 million old people. Nearly 100,000 of them live alone and have no source of income. Many receive social allowances from the community or live at social insurance centres. Nearly 30% of the elderly have to do various jobs to earn a living. The proportion is above 70% in rural areas. A large percentage of old people are in poor health and suffer from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure.

Therefore, VEA chairman said it was necessary to work out a policy to support and encourage activities aimed at caring for the elderly at home or in centres reserved for their care. In addition, many old people who are in good health and want to work are short of capital to expand their businesses.

Nhan Dan