19th Session of the House of Elders focuses on health and social care

Under the slogan “Ageing Differently” and a debate which focussed mainly on health and social care, the 19th Session of the House of Elders was held on Wednesday.

President of the Pancyprian Co-ordinating Council of Volunteerism and the Coordinating Body of the House of Elders, Stavros Olympios, said in his address that ageing differently means ageing with dignity, honour, recognition, self-sufficiency and without the need for pity, embarrassment or charity from the state nor the society.

He also talked about the right of the elderly to have a say in decision-making centres, to have access to technology and the ability to be active citizens.

Addressing the session, House President Demetris Syllouris wished a quick implementation of the Roadmap both for the autonomy of public hospitals and for the implementation of the the National Health Service, that will directly satisfy individual demands of the elderly.

We all have a duty and an obligation to actively stand by the elderly, to listen to the concerns of those who offered us what we enjoy today, but also to borrow from their wisdom, patience and good practices that allowed them to survive through much more difficult conditions than today, managing to overcome them and create our current society,” he pointed out.

He assured that the House of Representatives will always be next to them, providing them with a forum from which to express their concerns and propose solutions to the problems of their everyday life.

On behalf of Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou, the Ministrys Permanent Under Secretary Andreas Assiotis said that as the main institution responsible for social policy, the ministry is planning and implementing concrete and substantive measures aiming at strengthening active aging, the continuous improvement of the standard of living of the elderly and a safe living environment in line with their current requirements.

On behalf of Health Minister George Pamboridis, First Medical Officer, Stala Kioupi said that the Ministry of Health aims to support the elderly by working to best of its capacity to pay tribute to them and improve its services.

The session discussed two reports, one by the Social Welfare Committee and one by the Health Committee of the House of Elders.

The Social Welfare Committee’s report highlights, among others, problems concerning the governments Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) scheme, the care allowance, medical care, and the problems faced by the enclaved elderly in the Turkish occupied areas. It also outlines the problems arising from wage cuts that have affected pensions and delays in processing applications from the Social Welfare Services.

The Health Committee’s report calls, among others, for serious and responsible treatment from health care professionals for the elderly, reduction of waiting lists in public hospitals and access to medicines, full staffing of rural medical centers, introduction of community nursing care and recognition of heart disease as a chronic condition.

The reports of both committees were approved by members of the House of Elders. The House of Elders also approved its operating regulations.

Source: Cyprus News Agency