Gonzi - Quality of life results in longer life
PN Leader Lawrence Gonzi explained that the needs for the elderly are going to grow as the quality of life is rising and people are living longer.
“I went to the birthday party of someone who turned a 100 and he was dancing. It was astonishing. We are going to have many more people live to see a 100”, he explained.
He added that "we need facilities for these people, not just housing facilities, but facilities where they can have fun. Ideally we want the elderly to live where they want, be it at home or in care homes. The public-private partnership we have with one of the care homes has worked tremendously well and the PN government would continue to work with the private sector on similar projects".
Dr Gonzi also stated that they want to expand the home-help system, where people receive the necessary help to allow them to live at home. "The €300 home allowance for elderly living at home is to help these people live comfortably at home". He added that there are currently 10,000 people receiving a pension, but have chosen to keep on working.
He emphasized that the elderly are undertaking classes both at University as well as centres, resulting in a more active elderly community.
With regards to waiting lists, Dr Gonzi explained that the government is working on deals with the private health sector, which would allow the elderly to achieve basic care, for example with relation to cataracts, through private institutions.
Concluding, the PN Leader explained that if Malta remains financially stable, then the services for the elderly will grow, but if our country makes wrong decisions, then these services will be forced to shrink. He promised that the elderly are a priority for the PN and announced that if elected, he will give them a solid future.
Member of the council for the elderly Lino Mizzi, explained that St Vincent De Paul has constantly been improving since 1992, when they began to modernize the wards.
He explained that the PN government has done a lot for the elderly, such as interoducing day centres where the elderly can go and receive full health treatment, including dental care.
Minister for Gozo Giovanna Debono announced that there were 700 people in Gozo who work whilst taking their pension. She added that there is a certain arts and crafts studio where 40% of the students are pensioners.