Government Working Towards A National Policy On Ageing

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Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler??

A national policy on ageing could soon be on the cards for Barbados.

Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler, hinted at this yesterday during the presentation of the Draft White Paper on Ageing, entitled "Towards a Society for All Ages: A National Policy on Ageing", at the Warrens Office Complex.

Stating that the Ministry of Health had also presented a paper this month on alternative treatment for the elderly, he said it was necessary for the two Ministries along with other members of the Cabinet Social Policy Committee to come together to arrive at a policy.?? "Our desire is that very shortly we can bring all sides together to look at both papers and to see how we can… connect the dots to ensure that there is genuinely a national policy on ageing and for the ageing."

Pointing out that as a result of the Westminster system we had adopted, coming up with a policy usually involved "a very grinding and sometimes debilitating and frustrating process", Minister Sinckler noted that the recommendations contained in the document "were extremely solid and speak in a targeted way to the issues that affect the elderly. ??

"Therefore, when we come to implementing, at the level of government, we are confident that sufficient thought, examination and analysis have gone into this process that we can in fact implement a policy and do it right the first time," he observed.

According to Chairman of the National Committee on Ageing, Maizie Barker-Welch, who presented the document to Minister Sinckler, the Draft White Paper "is intended to set the stage for clear policy guidelines. It is also intended to set out a definitive programme of short, medium and long term action."

Contained in the document, she said, were many issues related to ageing which had come up for analysis: income security, health and health care, the physical environment, security, legislation, institutional arrangements and data research. ??

Mrs. Barker-Welch also revealed that specific recommendations were made, among them the creation of a Department of Elder Affairs and an Advisory Commission.?? "We recognise that there are many stakeholders in the care and well-being of the elderly.?? One of the crucial issues, therefore, is the reduction of duplication and the attainment of effective coordination of all national efforts in matters related to the elderly," she remarked. emcclean@barbados.gov.bb

 

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