Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Run-down of Govt elderly provisions

Equality Rights group GGR has attacked what it says is “the increasingly evident running down of our social services by Government and the suffering this is causing to our elderly,” according to a press release issued today.

“Of late, we have witnessed a spate of lonely deaths on the part of our elderly citizens in their own homes. This is not only sad it is a horrific illustration of just how unattended some of our older people are and feel – both by ourselves as neighbours as well as by Government. Social Services are increasingly under pressure to provide adequately for our senior citizens, some of whom are housebound and without relatives to attend to them. The Minister for Social Services is in our view failing in safeguarding the needs of such vulnerable individuals in our society. It is, indeed, our view that Government is failing the needs of our community by not providing sufficient resources and budgeting to cover the requirements of a civilized modern European society such as Gibraltar needs to be,” Chairman Felix Alvarez stated.

“Gibraltar has fallen far behind in social rights despite the many NGOs asking for Mr Caruana to listen to their needs. Yet we should not be too surprised if, in the run-up to the next Elections, Government now sets out to convince us of their supposed “interest” in social issues by announcing hollow public meetings and bureaucratic consultation exercises when throughout the past 10 years or so the reality is that Government has allowed our social rights and services to be run down in terms of quality and quantity. Any such move by Government will be exposed by GGR for what it is: a desperate attempt to look good before asking for our votes when Government have refused to listen to the affected community throughout their years of executive responsibility.”

“GGR adds its voice to the many valid criticisms and observations made recently by the St John’s Ambulance organisation with respect to the elderly and trusts that action will be taken without pause or delay to stop the current sad trend of solitary deaths by elderly people in their own homes.”