Government Politicking over Providing Services for the Elderly

Update
Government Politicking over Providing Services for the Elderly

Date : 
01/10/12

Ref   : 
PR126/2012


Government Politicking over Providing Services for the Elderly


The Opposition has today expressed concern that the independent living complex at the old St. Bernard’s Hospital site is not open for the elderly, despite the fact that works were finished prior to April 2012.

When questioned in Parliament by Opposition Spokesman Jaime Netto, the Minister for Social Services, in a now traditional attempt to rubbish everything that occurred in her department prior to the 9 December 2011, stated that the site has not been available because changes had to be incorporated to the site to allow elderly persons with mobility problems to live in the complex and that it was astonishing this had not been catered for by the GSD Government.

This is not the first time that the Government has attempted to rubbish everything associated with the GSD Government. No doubt when this project is finally open to service users, Ms Sacramento will claim it would have been rubbish had we completed it and that they saved it from disaster.

The Government’s criticisms of the GSD’s plans for the independent living complex at the Old St Bernard’s site, and their excuse for not making this facility available to service users, simply do not stack up.

The reality is that the specification for such a facility, under the GSD Government, was for elderly persons who live independently, and without mobility problems because we did not believe the location of the site in that part of town lent itself to house elderly people with mobility problems.

The Government is perfectly entitled to change that policy and make a decision to house elderly people with mobility problems in the facility but it cannot claim our project was rubbish simply because we took the conscious decision to accommodate elderly people with mobility problems in a more accessible part of town. Mr Netto said: “Back in April of this year, Minister Bruzon was keen to open the new facility, as this would naturally alleviate pressure on the Government Housing list, but was apparently overruled.

We hope that the reason has not simply been to allow the Government to denigrate another GSD project for political partisan reasons at the expense of our elderly.”

The initiation of such an independent living project, by the former GSD Government, was based on the fact that a home for the elderly in the Upper Town was less suited for persons with mobility problems. Having provided bespoke housing and facilities elsewhere like Bishop Canilla House, Albert Risso House, a lift installation programme throughout Government housing and substantial ground floor flats dedicated to the disabled and the elderly; all together this has provided flexibility for different elderly groups, thereby creating resources for different needs.

The fact remains that the GSLP Government appear more intent on scoring cheap political points against the previous administration than completing the project. Indeed, those cheap political points have unfortunately become the habitual discourse of the Chief Minister and Ms Sacramento, in particular, both inside and outside Parliament. In this particular case, it is the elderly that are paying the price.

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Government Politicking over Providing Services for the Elderly

Elderly Government over Politicking Providing Services



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