Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM lays out national plan for the elderly




PM lays out national plan for the elderly

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Social Affairs Minister Vong Soth attend the launch of the national policy on ageing at the Peace Palace yesterday. About 1.2 million Cambodians are aged 60 and up. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen and Social Affairs Minister Vong Soth attend the launch of the national policy on ageing at the Peace Palace yesterday. About 1.2 million Cambodians are aged 60 and up. Facebook

PM lays out national plan for the elderly

A new shelter for the indigent elderly – plus hundreds of new community-based associations for older people – is in the works under a national plan on ageing launched by Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace yesterday.

In his speech, the premier emphasised that the policy is “a roadmap for a long-term goal”.

“It doesn’t mean we just care for elderly people now – the reality is elderly people have been taken care of since January 7, 1979,” Hun Sen said, referring to the day Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia to topple the Khmer Rouge.

The plan, titled National Aging Policy 2017-2030, was approved by cabinet ministers in August.

About 1.2 million Cambodians – or about 7 percent of the population – are aged 60 and older. As Cambodia’s life expectancy increases, the elderly population is expected to reach 5 million people by 2050.

Under the plan, the government hopes to expand retirement and pension schemes for workers, place medical professionals trained in geriatrics in every health centre and improve regulations against elder abuse.

The government will also consider free health care for senior citizens, according to the policy.

Tum Vira, executive director of HelpAge Cambodia, said older people have “many, many needs” but that two of the most important are income support and free health care.

As part of the plan, the ministry has also established more than 1,600 Older People’s Associations across the country – one for each commune.

However, Vira said, “the question is still how strong these Older People’s Association are”.

“If it’s a scam or you just fill in a form and there’s no services, then next time people hear about Older People’s Associations they will say, ‘Don’t go’.”

Toch Channy, a spokesman at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said the government is also constructing a centre for older people who are poor and homeless in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district. The centre is “70 to 80 percent complete” and will house up to 300 seniors when finished, Channy said.

“In the centre we will provide them food, health treatment, exercise, and they can join clubs with other elderly people,” Channy said.

“They will be able to act like kids.”

Additional reporting by Daphne Chen

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last