The benefits provided by HCM City to seniors, like free bus tickets and priority in healthcare services, have yet to percolate down to them, many complained at a meeting with authorities from various departments yesterday. — Photo chuthapdotphcm.org.vn
HCM CITY — The benefits provided by HCM City to seniors, like free bus tickets and priority in healthcare services, have yet to percolate down to them, many complained at a meeting with authorities from various departments yesterday.
Trần Đức Tâm, chairman of the Senior Association, An Phú Ward in District 2, said people aged 75 and above can travel for free on city buses.
“Two months ago I went by bus with my older sister and brother, who are above the age of 75, but they are not exempted.”
He asked why they had to buy tickets, and the conductor said he did not know about any such regulation because he was new, he said.
Phạm Vương Bảo of the Department of Transport said the city Public Transport Management and Operation Centre and all drivers and conductors had been apprised about the regulation.
Until 2015 the city had waived tickets for people aged 80 and above, but at last year’s meeting many seniors had asked that the age be reduced to 75, he said.
In January their demand was accepted, he said.
Lê Chu Giang, head of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ social welfare division, said: “The city has good policies for seniors, but many cannot enjoy them because people in charge of implementing the policies do not know.”
The Department of Transport should inform relevant agencies about the policy again, he said.
Tâm suggested putting up a board on buses listing what categories of people can travel for free.
Other seniors asked for discounts on air tickets
There have been complaints that many octogenarians are forced to wait for long at hospitals though the law allows them to bypass the queue.
Currently health insurance cards are issued free to people aged 80, but many called for reducing the threshold age to 70.
The city has six public shelters that house 1,260 people aged 60 and above and 13 private ones that have 546 others. Of them, 70 per cent come from neighbouring provinces and cities.
More than 1,400 seniors benefited from free eye examination and treatment provided by district senior associations in co-operation with the Eye Hospital. —VNS