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January Thursday

Cuban government will cover elders’ nursing homes expenses

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 12 (ACN) Anyone who needs a nursing home and has no income, or whose family cannot afford the increased fee, will continue to be subsidized from Social Assistance funds, Marta Elena Feitó Cabrera, Minister of Labor and Social Security, said on Monday.

According to the Minister, in Cuba there is an accelerated aging process and also a low birth rate and high life expectancy, and there is a policy to assist these elderly people that is multi-sectorial, and includes the repair of old people's homes and nursing home so that they can offer better quality services, a program that is being checked by the country's top leadership.

A differentiation has been made in the cost of the service between a nursing home that has gone through rehabilitation processes and one that has not yet been repaired; today there are 157 facilities of this type that are already certified by the Ministry of Public Health and 2,324 older adults living there.

Of this total, 517 people assume the cost of this service with their pensions or family assistance, and there is another group of more than two thousand for whom Social Assistance assumes the total or partial costs.

In the case of the nursing homes there are 300 in the country, with more than seven thousand older adults, and in the same way Social Assistance supports those who cannot cover the expenses.

Feitó Cabrera highlighted that Social Security has two structural aspects: one is the Social Security system, which offers monetary benefits to workers and their families for disability, maternity leave, death of the employee and health benefits (preventive, curative and rehabilitative);

And the other, the Social Assistance, which protects the elderly without resources or family protection, people not suitable to work or family members in conditions to help them, and any other individual who requires it.

With respect to the impact of the law on the sector, she pointed out that there are 1,671,000 pensioners in the country -one hundred percent of them were benefitted- and 98 percent of them have already received their pensions.

She affirmed that in order to establish the minimum amount, the cost of the basket of goods and services of reference was taken into account (1,528 pesos) and that for this year the Social Security fund is over 33 billion pesos, only comparable to the expenses in Health and Education.

This budget is formed by the contribution of employers and workers and in spite of this it is in deficit; to cover this imbalance the State transfers this difference which for this year is 11.549 billion pesos, she explained.

In the case of Social Assistance, there was an increase in the minimum benefit of 5.8 times, all those assisted were benefited, and 94.3 percent of these people have already gone to the post offices to collect their monies.
The budget of this program, fully funded by the State, is in the order of 2.07 billion pesos for 2021.

There are benefits for mothers who have children with severe disabilities, she said, and of more than 4,000 women in this condition, more than 3,200 receive their full salary. In another group, there is economic solvency in the household and only years of service are considered, and when it is insolvent, it is given monetary benefits.

She emphasized that when they reach retirement age they have the right to it and all this time is considered years of service.

Similarly, she added, home assistance is maintained, consisting of 5,515 assistants in charge of 8,328 beneficiaries - older people or people with certain disabilities.

In Cuba, there are 153 children with complicated genetic diseases that require air conditioning, and Social Assistance complements and pays for the electrical service for that family.



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