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Better care quality needed for the elderly

Update: December, 29/2016 - 09:00
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has emphasised the need to provide better health care services for the elderly, by developing a standardised care system in health facilities and in the community, especially for those in rural and mountainous areas. — Photo VGP

HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has emphasised the need to provide better health care services for the elderly, by developing a standardised care system in health facilities and in the community, especially for those in rural and mountainous areas. 

Localities should launch physical exercise movements among the elderly and make the performance of physical exercises of the elderly part of cultural festivals, he said during a Việt Nam National Committee for Elderly (VNCE)’s conference in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

The Deputy PM noted that the Ministry of Health and Việt Nam Social Insurance were working together on a plan to make health records for individuals, which will firstly benefit senior citizens and children. 

Enterprises, organisations and individuals with outstanding achievements in implementing support policies for seniors should be honoured, while public buildings should be designed to be friendly and accessible to the elderly, he stated. 

He also asked the Ministry of Education and Training and other relevant agencies to design continuous learning programmes for senior people, while encouraging those with rich knowledge and experience to join in communicating law in public education centres. 

According to the VNCE, Việt Nam has over 10 million senior citizens, who account for nearly 11 per cent of the population, 18.6 per cent of whom are 80 and above. 

As many as 6.63 million of seniors, or 65.7 per cent, live in rural areas, while about 22 per cent live in poor households. 

As part of efforts to support the elderly, many localities have applied transportation discounts for them, along with 15 per cent reduction in aviation and railway tickets. 

Deputy Minister of Health Phạm Lê Tuấn also revealed that a model of giving long-term and comprehensive health care service launched by the ministry in Hà Nội’s Sóc Sơn District is being implemented effectively, which is expected to expand to other localities. 

Currently, Việt Nam has 50 central and provincial hospitals having geriatrics faculties, 302 facilities providing a check-up space exclusively for seniors, as well as 37,622 courtesy beds and 2,522 health care staff specialised in geriatrics. 

However, the VNCE pointed to limitations in public awareness and support policies for the elderly, as many old people are living in poverty. 

Members of the committee proposed a number of adjustments in policies for the elderly, especially for those from poor localities and ethnic minority groups. 

They also asked for more resources for the implementation of policies, projects and programmes related to the elderly. — VNS

 

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