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Thailand Empowers Seamless Access for Elderly and Disabled

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Governments worldwide must enhance their public services to ensure they are seamless, efficient, and accessible to all citizens. Unfortunately, many policymakers still overlook the well-being of the elderly and disabled even though they live alongside with other and maintain their rights to a prosperous life through government services.

Image credits: dga.or.th

As a diverse country, Thailand is aware of this issue. The Ministry of Interior and the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA) have inaugurated a digital service enabling citizens to check elderly living allowances and disability allowances through the central portal system known as the Citizen Portal. This service is integrated into the ‘government’ application, a super app that consolidates various government services into one platform to enhance the quality of life for citizens across diverse demographics and regions.

The inauguration ceremony, presided over by Mr Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, highlighted the collaborative effort between the Ministry of Interior and the Digital Government Development Agency. The goal is to provide citizens with up-to-date, modern, and timely government services.

The service allows easy verification of elderly living and disability allowances through the government app, showcasing a commitment to embracing digital technology to streamline administrative processes and improve citizen experiences.

Mr Anutin Charnvirakul emphasised that introducing this service aligns with the government’s overarching policy to transition the country into the Digital Government era. This shift involves bringing all information into an online system, ensuring transparent administration and convenient services for citizens.

The ‘government’ application is hailed as a game-changer, a vital element in realising the concept of a Digital Government. It centralises government services through the ‘central portal’, creating a more user-friendly and efficient experience for citizens accessing various services 24/7.

Dr Puangpetch Chunlead, Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, underscored the importance of this initiative in transforming the Ministry of Interior into a digital organisation that is both consistent and agile. The move towards making the ‘government’ application a ‘super app’ reflects the government’s commitment to providing citizens with convenient, rapid, and secure access to many government services through a single application.

Dr Supoj Thienawut, Director of the Digital Government Development Agency, elaborated on the ‘government’ application’s success, emphasising its user popularity. With over 134 services currently available, including social security rights verification, medical treatment rights, and subsidies for raising newborns, the app has been downloaded over 751,745 times, with a cumulative usage volume exceeding 9.8 million times as of November 2023.

Mr Khajon Srichawanothai, Director-General of the Department of Local Administration, highlighted the significance of the service for checking elderly living and disability allowances. The service addresses common issues citizens face, such as delays in receiving subsidies due to incorrect verification timing and the need to inquire about allowance information at local government offices, which can take time and effort.

The ‘government’ application aims to alleviate these challenges by centralising essential government services in one accessible platform. With over 134 services ready to serve the public, including the recently launched service for verifying elderly living allowances and disability allowances, the application aligns with the Government Administration and Provision of Government Services through the Digital Systems Act 2019, the Electronic Government Service Act 2022, and Thailand’s Digital Government Development Plan 2023-2027.

Now, elderly and disabled people can experience an improved and more accessible avenue for accessing essential government services. The collaboration between the Ministry of Interior, DGA, and the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission reflects a steadfast commitment to developing digital government services that cater to the population’s diverse needs.

Introducing this service tailored for specific user groups, particularly older individuals and people with disabilities, is pivotal in building a modern and smart nation. This initiative aims to create an environment where citizens can lead smarter and more convenient lives regardless of age or ability. Through the seamless interface of the ‘government’ application, citizens have the power to access crucial government services with ease and efficiency anytime and anywhere.

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