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Elderly Cost Cutting Queried

The mayor of Machico accused a PSD councillor of “lack of political honesty,” regarding an alleged cut in elderly medication support.

According to Ricardo Franco, in a note sent to the newspaper, “the City Council not only cut support for medicines; but also increased the municipalities contribution to the solidarity network of medicines, from €100 to €135 per beneficiary.”

“As is public knowledge, the municipality has a collaboration protocol with the Dignitude Association – Solidarity Network for Medicines that provides for the allocation of medicines to people who are in a situation of chronic illness and financial insufficiency. This association is responsible for defining criteria for granting support, which was changed in 2023, in order to standardise procedures with all municipalities adhering to this network.

Ricardo Franco adds that “the criteria was changed by Dignitude and it was made known to the PSD councilors at a town hall meeting,” so he considers this position on the part of the PSD to be strange, since the change to the protocol was approved at a town hall meeting.

“Since then, all support has been deliberated in the presence of PSD councillors (and the PSD has never voted against). We are aware that there is a universe of beneficiaries whose applications are not approved, so the Municipality of Machico through its Social Support Office is preparing an amendment to the Social Support Regulation (which will be presented soon) in order to create an exclusively municipal HEALTH CARD to respond to situations not covered by the ABEM card.”

The mayor considers the attitude of the PSD “a blatant hypocrisy and an attempt to obtain political dividends by deceiving the population of Machico, by claiming that there is no social sensitivity towards the elderly, especially because, in the past (bygone times of PSD governance), there was never a single measure to give dignity and quality of life to our seniors.”

“We question, therefore, the PSD to explain who first allocated support in the acquisition of medicines, the allocation of technical aids (articulated beds, wheelchairs, walkers…) basic necessities, psychological support, training for informal caregivers, among others?” Concluded Ricardo Franco in his letter.

The municipality of Machico indeed has locked horns with the Regional Government during the past and it would appear that relations have not improved over the last 20-odd years.

Samantha Gannon

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