Hessa Bint Eisa Bu Humaid, UAE Minister of Community Development Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE will be creating a comprehensive database of Emirati seniors in the country under the new National Policy for Senior Emiratis, a minister announced on Tuesday.

The database, which will be formed in partnership with federal, local and private entities, will be part of 26 initiatives the Ministry of Community Development (MOCP) will be implementing to support the policy.

The National Policy for Senior Emiratis was launched by the UAE Cabinet on October 21 to raise the quality of every senior Emirati living in the UAE and ensure their active involvement in the UAE community.

The first 26 initiatives launched cover seven main pillars of the policy, which include health care, community involvement and active life, effective civic participation, infrastructure and transportation, financial stability, safety and security, and quality of future life.

Hessa Bint Eisa Bu Humaid, Minister of Community Development said the nationwide policy has been able to identify the main requirements, challenges and needs of Emirati seniors across the country.

“One of our priorities for senior citizens is looking into their health, and under the policy we have focused on launching initiatives that meet their main requirements such as ensuring they are covered by health insurance and have access to health care services, expanding our home care services and training health care providers,” she said.

Bu Humaid said the ministry has been working on the policy for over a year and that outcomes and goals of the policy were based on studies and field visits that gave the ministry a chance to meet seniors and understand their requests.

“A large segment of seniors have showed their interest in participating in the sustainable development of the UAE and this is why we have chosen to emphasise on forming channels where seniors can share their experiences, knowledge and lessons with the younger generation,” she said.

Bu Humaid also highlighted that among the 26 initiatives will be the launch of a pension programme through community participation and a law to protect the rights of senior Emiratis.

Other initiatives announced by the ministry include organising sports activities to keep them healthy and fit. In one of the initiatives, The Sukoon project for special care, she said it will ensure their homes are made safer. Wekaya is another health-related initiative that focuses on health and disease prevention.

The policy, she added, will take years to implement, “but we will work on rolling out those that are deemed the most important first.”

“One of our priorities is to ensure all concerned departments — whether on the federal or the local level — are aware of this full-fledged policy, which means we need to establish a strong and direct connection with everyone currently providing services for our seniors,” Bu Humaid added.

Currently, the ministry is supporting 15,000 seniors who are part of their social welfare programme. However with this policy all seniors in the UAE will be able to benefit from the initiatives rolled out by the ministry.