Macau residents to enjoy social security policies from both systems in Hengqin cooperation zone – Secretary for Social Affairs

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U indicate today that Macau residents who work, study, live or grow old in the Hengqin Cooperation Zone will be able to continue to have access to most aspects of social security in Macau while benefiting from the social security policies on the two sides.

The long-awaited guidelines for the development of the nearby Hengqin island were unveiled on September 5 underlining the Guangdong-Macau joint administration for the area and setting up four main focus areas that will assist with Macau’s economic diversification away from gaming, namely technology and high-end manufacturing, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), tourism and MICE, and finance.

Secretary Elsie Ao and Secretary for Administration and Justice, Cheong Weng Chon, and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ao Ieong U, were present today (Monday) at the first presentation session of the Guangdong Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin concerning governance and legal systems, as well as social affairs and the life of the population within the scope of the new area.

Macau residents can already register with Zhuhai City Basic Health Insurance and the Macao SAR Government provides eligible residents with an individual subsidy to support acquiring Mainland health insurance.

According to the provisional method for participating in social insurance implemented in 2020, residents can also join the various social insurance systems in Mainland China, obtaining the respective benefits under the legal terms.

Secretary Ao noted today that Regarding that favourable measures implemented allow Macau elderly residents who are now permanently residing in Mainland China to continue to receive economic support, elderly pension, elderly allowance, and the funds allocated to the individual account of the non-mandatory central pension scheme, among others, if they meet the legally established requirements.

Elderly people can also make use of convenient measures to handle the services, including receiving amounts in Mainland China by bank transfer, and proof of life can be handled through the proof of life verification cooperation mechanism between Guangdong and Macao or the ‘Single Account for Common Access to Public Services’ launched this year.

The Cooperation Zone plan also defines that support will be given to healthcare providers in Macau to establish medical institutions in the form of wholly-owned capital, joint capital or in partnership.

The use, by designated medical institutions, of medicine and food intended for specific medical purposes will also be allowed, when there is clinical urgency and they are registered in Macau, as well as the use of medical instruments of clinical urgency, already acquired and used by hospitals Macau public authorities and that show advances in clinical application.

A study will also be carried out on support for the joint construction of the regional medicine consortium and the regional medical centre, strengthening the joint response capacity to sudden public health incidents while health professionals with qualifications from abroad, including those from Macau, may obtain national authorization to carry out activities under the terms of the law.

A health centre will also be set up at the future Macau New Neighbourhood in Henqgin, based on the scale of existing health centres in Macau and operating in accordance with the model of external consultation services provided by Western medicine by non-profit institutions financed by the Health Bureau, while providing e free community health care services to Macau residents.

Construction works for the Macau New Neighbourhood in Hengqin have been initiated on December 31, 2020, public group Macau Urban Renewal Limited announced.

The project will provide about 4,000 residential units able to house some 10,000 Macau residents, as well as supporting facilities such as shops, education, transportation, medical care and community service centres, plus commercial shops, schools, health stations, elderly service centres, and family community service centres.

A school with priority admission to Macao residents and with academic qualifications equivalent to that of the SAR will also be established in the new neighbourhood.

According to Hengqin authorities data, at the moment there are 7,000 Macau residents living in the area, with more than 6,000 Macau license vehicles authorised to drive in Hengqin and with more than 300 Macau companies having set offices in the area