Govt to open geriatric care units in 221 districts: Nadda

Govt to open geriatric care units in 221 districts: Nadda

The government today said it is committed to taking special care of senior citizens above 75 years of age and will open more geriatric care units to cover 325 districts across the country.

Intervening in a discussion on a private member legislation, Senior Citizens (Provision of Geriatric and Dementia Care) Bill, 2014, in Lok Sabha, Health Minister J P Nadda said at present there are 104 geriatric care units and government intends to cover 325 districts.

"We plan to set up geriatric care units in 221 more districts. The units would have Out Patient Department (OPD), geriatric wards and laboratories for investigations and research," Nadda said.

"In total we will provide for 600 beds for geriatric care patients, including 200 each in AIIMS and Madras Medical College," he said.

The Private Members' Bill on senior citizens, brought by Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD), sought
to provide for care of senior citizens suffering from dementia and provision of geriatric care facilities and for matters connected there with.

Nadda said the government is conducting a survey on health profile of senior citizens, according to which the government could prioritise intervention in taking care of them.
As regards taking care of people suffering from Dementia, he said the government will work expeditiously to set up infrastructure for such patients.

"The intensity (of taking care of elderly people) is not going to be reduced, but will be increased," Nadda said, adding the government is committed to providing assistance to very senior citizens above the age of 75 years.

"We have given importance to senior citizens in our health policy. Goovernment is very serious about the people above 75 years, what treatment they need, what infrastructure they need," the Health Minister said.

Highlighting that diseases like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer and Dementia are rising in India, Nadda said his ministry is concerned about the matter.

The Bill was later withdrawn by Mahtab after Nadda assured the House that the government is committed to protecting the senior citizens and provided for research and training of doctors to deal with such patients as well as provide more beds for geriatric patients in hospitals.

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