Minister Al-Rajhi approves executive regulations of the new law
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi approved the executive regulations of the new Law to Protect the Rights of the Elderly People.
The law, which was approved by the Council of Ministers on Jan. 4, 2022, guarantees several privileges and discounts for the Saudi citizens aged 60 years and above. There are several provisions in the law that aimed at protecting the rights of the elderly people and ensuring their care and welfare.
According to a review of Okaz/Saudi Gazette, the executive regulations of the law consists of 19 explanatory articles for the law that included the provision of a system of support programs and aid for the elderly who have reached the age of 60 Hijri years or more.
The services that will be provided to the elderly under the regulations include financial assistance, medical instruments, privilege cards, discounts and priorities to complete their procedures, as well as programs dedicated to improve the quality of their life.
According to the second article of the executive regulations, every government agency that provides services to the elderly or those who are engaged in taking care of them have to work to carry out awareness programs and campaigns aimed at enhancing their status and publicizing their rights.
There are provisions in the regulations under which each government agency that possesses documented statistics with regard to the elderly people would extend cooperation in supporting researchers in universities or other bodies and provide them with data supporting research or projects that achieve raising the quality of life of the elderly, and empower them.
This, provided that the person in authority agrees and signs the necessary undertakings for the confidentiality and use of the data.
Taking into account of what was stipulated in Article 10 of the law, the 9th article of the regulations stipulates that the elderly in need of medical devices and supplies shall be supported according to the following eligibility mechanisms: The elderly people shall be a Saudi citizen who is registered with the ministry and have a valid disability assessment document.
The beneficiary shall be residing in Saudi Arabia with a permanent residence permit. He or she should not to be attached to any one of the health and social housing facilities while submitting the request for availing the service.
The beneficiary has the right to obtain the specified medical instruments in accordance with the existing regulations in this regard under the law for persons with disabilities according to the severity of the disability. The disbursement of the assistance is in accordance with what is clarified by the policy guide in agreement with the Ministry of Finance, and the available budgetary allocations.
Taking into account of Article 11 of the law, the regulation clarified that the ministries and other government agencies grant the elderly people, who are holders of the Privilege Card, the following facilities: special seats for the elderly in the front rows with placing a sign indicating this; and giving priority to the elderly in the provision of services for them.
The failure to carry the card does not affect the eligibility to benefit from the services in the event of showing proof to the effect that the citizen has reached or exceeded sixty years of age.
The regulations indicated that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development shall issue the Privilege Card for the elderly, which grants them entitlement to the benefits of the law in discounts on government services and priority in waiting lines and enjoying other services.
The Cabinet’s approval of the law is regarded as a landmark initiative aimed at enhancing the status and well-being of the elderly, as well as maintaining their security and safety, protecting their rights, and ensuring their proper family and community care.
There are provisions in the law to protect the physical and psychological rights of the elderly people. The law dictates that elderly people have the right to live with their families, who in turn must respond to their needs in dignity. It is not permitted to send an elderly man or woman to a shelter or care facility without their consent.
An elderly person is considered needy if he is unable to meet his necessities in whole or in part, as a result of deficiencies in his financial, physical, psychological or mental capabilities. In the event that the family is unable to support the elderly person, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development shall provide him with the necessary medical supplies free of charge.
The elderly are given priority in obtaining basic services provided by government agencies, or those who provide them on their behalf. The ministry would issue them privilege card so that they can benefit from the public services they need for the necessities of their daily life, and government agencies shall give them discounts on the public services they provide.
The new law prohibits the breadwinner from disposing of the elderly’s money without their consent, or deliberately violating their rights and care, or misusing their money. The penalties for violations included imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine of SR500,000 for the breadwinner who violates some provisions of the law.