GUWAHATI, Aug 11 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today inaugurated the Regional Geriatric Centre of the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital.
Inaugurating the 30-bed Geriatric Centre, Gogoi said that it would go a long way in providing proper health care to the elderly whose number is increasing. �Proper care and treatment have to be given to the elderly who are afflicted with multiple problems,� he added.
The Chief Minister said the rise in the population of the elderly is a sign that medical care and treatment have made advancements though there is much scope for improvement. �The medical scenario has improved in the State since 2001 with the establishment of new medical colleges and hospitals. But there is still much scope for improvement. Our aim is to build a healthy Assam,� he added.
Gogoi announced that the Government was planning to open a geriatric ward in every medical college and district hospital in the State. He also called for a holistic approach towards comprehensive health care of the aged with the focus on people living in villages, char and tea garden areas. �The focus should be on infant and maternal mortality rates, anaemia and malnutrition in order to improve the health indices,� Gogoi added.
Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr Nazrul Islam said that the Geriatric Centre, apart from having six semi-ICUs, is equipped with a state-of-the-art ICU, library and recreation facilities for 60-plus patients. �Elderly patients with multiple health problems will no longer have to wait at the OPD. They can avail of the best treatment at the Centre meant exclusively for them,� he added.
Dr Islam said the Government is mulling to introduce a PG course soon as the Geriatric Centre is housed with almost all facilities. Only four medical colleges in India have introduced PG courses in the subject.
In his welcome address, GMCH principal KC Saikia said the Geriatric Centre would provide treatment to 60-plus patients with focus on operational research and training of paramedical personnel. Out of a total of Rs 5.03 crore, a sum of Rs 3.73 crore has been released by the Government of India with the State Government providing a share of 20 per cent.
The Director of Medical Education, BB Chakrabarty said the elderly need specialised care and treatment for which knowledge and training are necessary. He urged the young doctors to handle with care the elderly patients, keeping in view their mental and physical conditions.
The Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Sanjeeva Kumar said the Government of Assam has taken a number of initiatives for the treatment of the elderly and so far, over 1.72 lakh such patients have been provided treatment in OPDs under the National Programme for Health Care for the Elderly.
The inaugural function was attended, among others, by the Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Julie Sonowal and the in-charge of the Regional Geriatric Centre, Prof Debabrata Goswami, said an official release.