Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has emphasised the need to provide better health care service for the elderly by developing a standardised caring 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 Vietnam National Committee for Elderly (VNCE)’s conference in Hanoi on December 27.

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

Enterprises, organisations and individuals with outstanding achievements in implementing support policies for senior people should be honoured while public buildings should be designed friendly 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, Vietnam has over 10 million senior people, who account for nearly 11 percent of the population, 18.6 percent of whom are 80 and above.

As many as 6.63 million of the senior people, or 65.7 percent, are living in rural areas, while about 22 percent are living in poor households.

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

Deputy Minister of Health Pham Le Tuan also revealed that a model of giving long-term and comprehensive health care service launched by the ministry in Hanoi’s Soc Son district is being implemented effectively, which is expected to expand to other localities.

Currently, Vietnam has 50 central and provincial hospitals having the geriatrics faculty, 302 facilities providing a check-up space exclusively for the senior, 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.-VNA