Bahrain Shura Fix Minimum Discount for Senior Citizens at 50%

The Bahrain Shura Council yesterday passed an amendment to the proposal for discounts for elderly citizens in government fees, specifying that the reduction in fees should not be less than 50 per cent.

During yesterday’s session, the Council’s Rapporteur, Leena Habib Qassim, presented the amendment suggested by the Council’s Services Committee to Article 9 of Law No. 58 of 2009. H.E.

Osama bin Ahmed Khalaf Al Asfoor, Minister of Social Development, attended the Council hearing yesterday. While approving the amendment, the Shura Council has left it to the Council of Ministers to decide which government services provide a 50 per cent fee reduction for elderly citizens.

The Shura Council also approved the Services Committee’s recommendation that no separate elderly card be mandated for availing fee reductions. Rather, it specified the law to mean that whoever is over the age of 60 years as per their government identity card can claim such a benefit.

Besides the reduction in government fees, senior citizens would also be eligible for discounts for household supplies at private firms and companies that are willing to participate in the scheme, the amended proposal said.

During the hearing, MP Dr. Jehad Abdullah Mohammed Alfadhel emphasised the need for clarity and specificity in government decisions and highlighted the concerns raised by an association of retirees regarding various government fees, such as municipal fees and licence renewal fees, which are not clearly outlined. The MP called for clarity on the reductions or discounts available to the retirees.

Further, the MP raised concerns about access to medications for seniors, especially in light of the prevalence of diabetes among elderly citizens in Bahrain. She suggested ensuring a fifty per cent reduction in drug prices for seniors and sought clarification on the legal mechanisms required for such amendments.

Additionally, the MP discussed the implementation of the health system and emphasised the importance of ensuring access to medications for all older individuals, regardless of their insurance status. She expressed optimism about the government’s efforts in providing free treatment and medications, while also acknowledging the need for further improvements through the upcoming changes to the health insurance system in Bahrain.

Experience and wisdom

Meanwhile, MP Ali Ahmed Ali AlHaddad spoke during yesterday’s session about the importance of employing elderly citizens to make use of their experience and wisdom while allowing them to live with dignity and financial freedom.

The MP highlighted the need to support a draft law that includes amendments to provide discounts for the elderly, citing successful models in Western countries like Canada where retirees are actively engaged by private entities for their expertise and advice.

He emphasised the valuable contributions elderly individuals can make to society beyond traditional employment, serving as mentors and advisors across various fields.


News of Baharin

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