New services for elders
by Nadira Gunatilleke, , Daily News, Sri Lanka
October 3, 2003
The Social Welfare Ministry is
providing several new services for elders. The National Savings Bank pays
1.5 per cent additional interest for fixed deposits of elders.
The State Pharmaceutical
Corporation gives five per cent discount for the elders. The earlier
discount was only two per cent.
Special Out Patients'
Departments (OPD) counters have been opened at the Colombo National
Hospital and Kalubowila (Colombo South) Hospital for elders who produce
special elders' identity cards issued by the Social Services Department.
The persons who come to purchase drugs on behalf of the elders can also
obtain the same relief as long as they produce the elder's identity card,
and the prescription.
These sources said that, at
present, the membership of the Social Security and Pension Scheme
introduced by the Social Security Board is 75,448. The Social Welfare
Ministry has also made arrangements to set up Elders' Committees
countrywide and about 3,000 Elders' Committees have already been set up. A
sum of Rs. 3,000 and a handbook will be provided to each committee.
The Social Welfare Ministry has
issued a special magazine titled 'Vedihitiyo' and the eleventh issue is
now available countrywide. About 5,000 copies of this magazine will be
distributed all over the country soon.
At present, 159 elders homes in
Sri Lanka have provided shelters to about 5,763 elders.
Most of them do not have financial stability. But the demand for the Elders' Homes is on the increase, Social Welfare Ministry sources said.