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By Rose Marie Harris

Paramedc.wmf (27406 bytes)August 18, 1998 - As the Ministry of Health continues a consultative process in the context of an on-going health sector reform initiative, the Malgretoute Senior Citizens Home in Soufriere was the focus for health personnel during a recently held one day retreat.

The question of identifying the critical areas for remedial action in both the short and long term was examined against the background of work currently underway at the home. According to the Minister for Health, Hon. Sarah Flood, a visit to the home last year revealed that the deplorable situation which existed at the senior citizens home can be attributed to years of neglect.

"The time has come … in fact long over due for standards to exist as to accepting residents into the Home, with regard to the needs of persons and the capability of the institution. The Time has come for the Home and its residents to be part of an overall comprehensive program for the management and care of our senior citizens."

During the retreat representatives of a number of government departments and non-governmental organizations made presentations. President of the National Council for the Disabled, Jeff Elva said that a well-equipped facility is important to the institutionalization of physically challenged persons.Hndicap1.wmf (1264 bytes) "What must be seriously considered is that people of all ages can be physically challenged and need the care and attention of others." Elva said that such institutions should be equipped to provide rehabilitation and proper accommodation, with qualified therapists and staff who are able to work with and render care to the physically challenged. He noted that there are some serious limitations, which need to be addressed urgently, regarding existing facilities for therapy on the island.

The retreat was held under the theme "towards improved care and development of services provided at the senior citizens home."

 

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