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No Clinics to Treat the Elderly

The Times of India

October 1, 2011

India




The state which can be projected as the oldest state in the country is on the threshold of a major health crisis for its senior citizens with not a single geriatric speciality clinic in the state.

Kochi, which is home to the largest number of speciality and private hospitals, has no centre which attends specifically to the aged. Those that claim so are mainly general medicine clinics.

''Geriatrics is a speciality like paediatrics. Just like you don't take children to a general physician, even the elderly need specialised doctors to look at their ailments as they often report multiple ailments,'' Helpage India Kochi chapter programme coordinator John Daniel said.

''We are being projected as an old state because our elderly population is more than 10 per cent. Ours is being projected at 11.7 percent. So, unless one knows how to treat this group of citizens, they often end up with complications,'' he said.
However, while there are no clinics in the state, the state unit of the National Rural Health Mission and the Kerala State Social Security Mission are planning to launch Vyomitram, a medicare project for the people in the age group 65 and above in Ernakulam soon.

''Under the project, a mobile clinic will tour various wards of Kochi corporation on specific days. The project is meant to help elder citizens who find it difficult to reach hospitals owing to various reasons,'' health committee chairman T K Ashraf said.



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