Deputy PM urges promoting role of elderly hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the working session. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The role of the elderly should continue to be promoted strongly in every aspect of life, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.

Speaking at a session of the Vietnam National Committee for Elderly in Hanoi on January 2, he said over the past time, old people have actively participated in social movements to help boost production and improve living conditions.

“The role of the elderly has been particularly shown in learning promotion activities and we need to continue upholding this role if we want to build a ‘learning society’ in which the old people will not only encourage younger generations to study but also join themselves in learning activities,” he stressed.

They should play a greater role in cultural life, leading civilised lifestyles and in Party building activities in their localities, he noted.

Regarding tasks to take care of the elderly, the Deputy PM said localities should strive to have all old people holding health insurance cards and work to improve health care services for them, he said.

Apart from health care activities, attention should also be paid to programmes to entertain the elderly, he added.  

Participants at the meeting discussed shortcomings hindering efforts to take care of the elderly such as low awareness of authorities in some localities about their responsibilities relating to the elderly, poor implementation of tasks related to old people, and a lack of mechanisms and policies encouraging the private sector to invest in establishments taking care of the elderly.

Financial shortages and a lack of land for health care services and cultural and sport activities for the elderly also remain challenges, they noted.

Deputy PM Dam asked ministries, agencies and localities to establish funds to take care of the elderly and promote their role in society.

They were also asked to review tasks relating to elderly people within their jurisdiction to ensure the tasks are fulfilled effectively.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said supervision and inspection should be strengthened to ensure the effectiveness of activities for elderly people.

The ministry is compiling a draft law on social activities which considers the establishment of the model of the social security fund to help tackle financial shortages for social activities at localities, according to Dung. The fund will target the elderly, children and the poor.

As of 2018, Vietnam has more than 11.3 million elderly people, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the country’s total population. Of the figure, nearly 2 million are more than 80 years old.

As many as 3.1 million elderly people get retirement pension and social insurance allowance, while some 1.6 million others get monthly social allowance and more than 10.8 million old people hold health insurance cards.-VNA