House President Annita Demetriou called on the government to take measures to alleviate the cost of living for retirees on Friday.

Demetriou was speaking to the House of Elders and said “the cost of living in Cyprus is on an inexorable upward trajectory, with rising prices and increased expenses putting pressure on households, especially the elderly, for most of whom their pension is their only source of income.”

She added that pension rates have “not kept pace with the rapidly increasing cost of living.”

“The rising cost of living is not an issue that can be ignored. The state and all its institutions must seek and implement practical solutions to ensure the elderly can live in comfort and peace,” she said.

In addition, she spoke on the issue of elderly people’s access to affordable healthcare, saying the matter is “clearly of prime importance for our ageing population.”

“We may now have Gesy and we are satisfied with it, but the costs borne by the elderly for their care have not been completely eliminated,” she said.

She said for this reason, elderly care insurance coverage must be expanded to address the high costs of medicines and medical test, as well as widening access to preventative and long-term care services, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

At the same meeting, Health Minister Popi Kanari made a speech which was read by ministry medical officer Ioanna Gregoriou.

She said, “the promotion of people’s health, especially that of vulnerable sections of the population, is everyone’s concern.”

She added, that Gesy is “constantly being upgraded”, citing the recent bringing of new accident and emergency departments under the Gesy umbrella and the inclusion of podiatrists into the system.

Additionally, she made reference to the government’s “national strategy for the health of the elderly”, saying the government has placed “great importance on issues faced by the elderly.”

She said to this end, the government will implement several interactive workshops aimed at educating the elderly on matters such as healthy eating and the prevention of falls.

“It is the state’s responsibility to create the conditions for elderly people to live out this period of their lives with honour and dignity,” she said.