GUWAHATI, July 25 � The growing population of the State�s elderly whose major challenge is coping with the declining functional capacity of the organs, will soon have access to easy healthcare facilities. The government will start a special OPD for senior citizens in the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) from August 15.
Announcing this today, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that the senior citizens can avail the services of this OPD on every Saturday between 2 pm to 8 pm.
This service is expected to go a long way in ensuring the elderly citizens proper medical care, a demand long raised by the association of senior citizens here that has been appealing to the State Government to implement all the benefits and concessions earmarked by the Centre for the senior citizens.
The elderly citizens here have been facing a host of challenges including lack of proper medical treatment despite the fact that the National Policy for Older Persons has made geriatric care compulsory in all the public hospitals. Though late, the step will spare the elderly now of the inconvenience of waiting in long queues to access medical help. After getting examined on Saturday in the GMCH, the elderly will be able to get all the clinical tests done on Sunday without any hassle, assured the minister.
�Citizens above 60 years of age will be the beneficiaries of this scheme and they will get free vaccination and medicines,� said Sarma adding that after assessing the effectiveness of this scheme in GMCH, the government will take the decision whether to expand it to all the other medical colleges in the State.
On the other hand, the Health Minister said that the next batch of 30 children with congenital heart disease will leave for Bangaluru on August 5 for treatment at Narayana Hrudayalaya. Under an ambitious scheme, the State Government is bearing the cost of medical treatment of children with this problem that includes even the accommodation and air travel fare.
Already 38 children have been operated and 14 have been discharged. However the condition of one of the operated child is said to be critical.