SRINAGAR: In recently established Geriatric, Pain and Palliative Care Centers in district hospitals of Kashmir Division, 7270 elderly patients were treated under exclusive geriatric treatment protocol (EGTP) during one month. These centres were virtually inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on 31st of March, 2022.
Besides 7270 senior citizens who were treated on OPD basis, 810 were admitted, 1157 were given physiotherapy and palliative care, 102 were given dialysis, laboratory and imaging were done in 5414 elderly patients and 73 were given home based care (HBC).
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq A Rather said, “This is just the beginning of our responsibility of universal health coverage that includes senior citizens as well. We are making our hospitals accessible, affordable, to older people for comprehensive health care delivery including promotive, preventive and curative health. Starting a separate registration counter, where they do not have to wait in long queues, OPD services and a separate ward is a humble start towards that direction. Our aim is to take care of the elderly so that the increased life span years are quality ones. Exclusive treatment is being provided to senior citizens by the doctors, physiotherapists and paramedics who were trained in Geriatric, Pain and Palliative Care workshops at JLNM Hospital. We also aim at expanding the scope of providing home based care (HBC) to the bed ridden patients who can’t come to the hospitals.”
Dr Rather further added, “Treatment part is our responsibility, but I request and appeal the youngsters that they should not neglect or abandon their parents. A kind word of affection towards your parents is more important than our treatment. Youngsters should also register their parents for Mega Surgical Camps to be held at various hospitals.”
Director Health Services, Kashmir has also directed Divisional Nodal Officer for Geriatric Medicine, Dr Zubair Saleem to improvise, monitor and streamline the functioning of Geriatric, Pain and Palliative Centers and to organise evidence based Continued Medical Education (CME) programs for the doctors and paramedics who are treating senior citizens at their respective hospitals.
Director Health Services Kashmir is also going to constitute a team of specialists that includes Pain and Palliative Care, Geriatric Medicine and Social and Preventive medicine for giving respectful and best health care services and counselling for senior citizens.