Four years after it was proposed, the government is yet to set up the Geriatric Care Institute to address health issues related the aged persons.
A proposal was sent in 2012 to the Department of Medical Education to set up an institute in keeping with the National Programme for Health Care and Elderly People. The aim was to cater exclusively to the ageing population and conduct research on geriatrics.
The director of SDS Tuberculosis Research Centre and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases where the centre was proposed to be established had written to the state government and Rs 5 crore was allocated for it.
There is little progress other than posting a geriatric expert and partially developing physical infrastructure. According to the existing plan, there will be 11 beds for male and nine for female patients besides outpatient department facilities.
Besides addressing their physical illnesses, the aged would also be given psychological assistance and counselling.
Dr Shashidhar Buggi, director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, who sent the proposal, said that an Institute of that sort was the need of the hour.
“There is a need to provide specialised treatment under one roof and this proposed centre would address the issue. Besides this, a post graduate course would also be started later with the approval of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. Research could be done on centenarians and their genes and lifestyle,” he added.
According to sources in the department of medical education, the government has kept the proposal on hold and is examining alternatives.
“The government was of the opinion that establishing a centre of this sort at Victoria Hospital was better as doctors from various specialities would be available round the clock unlike at the SDS Tuberculosis Research Centre.”