The Federation of the Greek Elderly Citizen Clubs of Melbourne & Victoria was established in 1984. Its purpose was and remains the dynamic representation of the Greek Australian senior citizens’ clubs and the Australian Greek seniors in general.
Today, the association represents 110 different Greek associations with a membership of over 22,000. It is undoubtedly one of the largest organizations in Melbourne’s large Greek Australian community that over the last 35 years the federation has expanded its range of programs to meet the needs of the Greek Australian elderly, and in collaboration with PRONIA, the federation is in able to offer a much wider range of services.
The union’s president, John Kostoulias, sent an open letter to Australian Prime Minister Scot Morrison urging him to take into account the needs of the elderly and the difficulties of accessing services and treatment.
“On behalf of the Federation of Greek Elderly Citizen Clubs of Melbourne & Victoria with 22,000 members, and for all pensioners in Australia, we would like to thank you and commend your Government for the significant increase in pension payments from September 2021.
However, we would like to point out some dilemmas and wishes that pensioners would like the government to address and consider.
Unfortunately, the cost of living in general, food, utilities, insurance, tariffs, etc. are rising rapidly and continue to make it very difficult for retirees. Please examine the matter and consider instructing the relevant Ministers to examine and consider making the appropriate changes or additions.
Another important pending issue that we wish to have addressed is the issue of the cost of medicines. We are convinced that all necessary medicines must be free of charge. The majority of medicines are no longer fully subsidized, as they were for many years.
Dilemma with medicine, the majority of the prescribed medicines by doctors are not those spread by the pharmacies, resulting in generic brands being subsidized only by the government. “A personal example, when I went on the safety net to get my subsidized prescription, I had to get the brand the pharmacy offers, and not the one my doctor prescribed.”
We hope you will take into account the needs of our retirees and recognize that the senior citizens of Australia have contributed to all aspects of society, we still contribute and strive to live our lives with the dignity we have left.
I urge you and the relevant ministers once again to look into this matter and make the necessary adjustments to reflect the current cost of living.
I repeat, the majority of our medicine should be fully subsidized; the dental system should be subsidized through Medicare, and the medicine for incontinence should be included and covered as well, ”said Mr Kosroulias.