Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has instructed authorities and society in general to take responsibility for providing good care to the aged, while encouraging the development of healthy-living models.
Đam, who is also chairman of National Committee on Vietnamese Old Persons, said that there were outstanding achievements in caring for the elderly in 2016.
All eligible senior citizens received assistance as per regulations. Since January 1, 2016, the social allowance for people above 80 years was raised to VNĐ270,000 (US$12) per month for those who do not belong to poor households.
Last year, more than 855,275 old people availed of free health check-ups and medicines, around 600,000 seniors were provided free eye examinations, and at least 100,000 received free eye treatment.
Many regions reduced the road and waterway ticket prices for the elderly, including Lai Châu, Bắc Kạn, Khánh Hòa and Quảng Bình provinces, and Đà Nẵng City. The railways and airlines also cut fares by 15 per cent, subsidising around VNĐ23 billion ($1.02 million).
Nursing, singing, dancing and other activities, where older people can work and participate, and gymnasiums and clubs where many generations help each other were developed in Thái Nguyên, Thanh Hóa, Hải Dương, Quảng Bình, Hà Tĩnh, Nghệ An, Quảng Trị, Hà Giang and Bến Tre provinces.
While a lot was achieved, many difficulties remain, Đam said. The living standards of the elderly remain low, many still have to work for a living, many live in makeshift houses. The longevity is low in areas where ethnic minority groups live, so the number of old people enjoying social allowances in these areas remains limited.
Đam requested sectors, associations and regions to implement the 2012-20 national action plan for the elderly and put in place mechanisms to encourage the construction of houses and provide convenient traffic solutions.
The Ministry of Labour, Social Invalids and Society has been asked to step up the implementation of laws for senior citizens as well as propose revised social assistance policies, especially for those from ethnic minority groups and in extremely disadvantaged areas.
The Ministry of Health has been given charge of supervising healthcare and strengthening health facilities at the grassroots-level for seniors.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been asked to facilitate the involvement of healthy senior citizens in household businesses in agriculture, forestry, fishery and rural development. — VNS