Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked ministries, sectors and localities to focus on designing and implementing laws and policies to support and provide care for the elderly in Vietnam.

While presiding over a meeting in Hanoi on March 20 to discuss the implementation of the 2015 action plan of the National Committee on Ageing, Deputy PM Dam urged effective policies and programmes benefitting the elderly in line with the context of each locality and current regulations.

According to the Deputy PM’s guidance, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) is to work with relevant ministries, sectors and agencies to examine the implementation of the 2009 Law on the Elderly and the National Action Programme on the Elderly for 2011-2015.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health was asked to intensify communication efforts to raise public awareness of the social responsibility to care for the elderly, as well as establish more geriatric wards in hospitals.

Projects to support and improve the spiritual life of the elderly will include reducing ticket fares to visit historical and cultural relic sites and cultural, sport and tourism activities.

Deputy PM Dam, who is also Head of the National Committee on Ageing, asked the Vietnam Association of the Elderly to expeditiously establish an action month for the elderly or organise related events.
Statistics show that there are more than 9.4 million elderly people in the nation, accounting for 10.45 percent of the total population.

Currently, nearly 2.8 million people are receiving retirement pensions and social insurance benefits with over 1.5 million receiving monthly social allowance.

Geriatric wards have been established in hospitals in 49 provinces and cities nationwide thus far, up 20 localities from 2013.

The Vietnam Association of the Elderly’s local chapters work to conduct practical activities, positively contributing to the country’s renewal process, socio-economic development and poverty reduction.-VNA