Mitanins to provide information on geriatric care

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Jan 2019 10:54:35


Staff Reporter,


There is good news for senior citizens seeking healthcare. The Chhattisgarh Government is planning to train Mitanins to provide information on geriatric care services available at the public health facilities.

Mitanins will also be stationed at the `Help Desk’ at district hospitals to aid and advise senior citizens coming to the hospital for healthcare services. The trained Mitanins, who will man the `Help Desk’ at the district hospitals will not only provide information on the services available for the senior citizens but also facilitate access to these services within the hospital.

“The training for Mitanins on information on geriatric care will start soon. While those at the `Help Desk’ will provide information and assist senior citizens in accessing healthcare, the ones at the community level will provide information regarding health care services and programmes available for senior citizens at public health facilities,’’ says Dr Sumi Jain, State Programme Coordinator, National Programme for Health Care for the Elderly (NPHCE).
As many as 210 Mitanins will be specially trained for this purpose, who would then be stationed at all major hospitals, Medical Colleges, SIMS Hospital Bilaspur, District Hospitals, Civil Hospitals and Community Health Centres. The State government has set up `Help Desks’ at all 27 district hospitals and 176 Community Health Centres (CHCs). Health care support for senior citizens is also available in Health and Wellness Centre by way supporting signages’ and ramps. The Department of Health and Family Welfare has been implementing the NPHCE since October 2018. It is a national programme under which facilities are to be provided for geriatric care at the district level. The focus is on general health check-up including eye-testing, tobacco-related ailments, mental health, hearing impairment, and dental care. At the community level, all senior citizens have been given a Senior Citizen Yellow Card that entitled them to easy access to health care services, health insurance, free health services and even bicycles, walking sticks, walkers and other aids. In the current financial year, 2,36,980 senior citizens availed of OPD services in the State. The number of elderly persons who attended OPD at various facilities: (DHs-160836), (CHCs-51992), (PHCs-20383) and (SHCs-3770). The number of people who admitted at district hospitals stood at 39924, CHCs were 2978, and PHCs were 224. Similarly, 53,822 senior citizens received rehabilitation services at various public health facilities. More than 2.12 lakh elderly people were screened and provided health care. Close to 300 people were provided supportive appliances free of cost.
The elderly population (aged 60 years or above) accounted for 7.4% of the total population in the State in 2001. Both the share and size of elderly population is increasing over time and it is projected to rise to 12.4% by the year 2026.


Districts to conduct health camps
Additionally, instructions have been issued to all districts to conduct health camps at senior citizens homes run by the government. Special capacity building activities have been planned in collaboration with Regional geriatric Centres at Banaras Hindu University, J J Hospital Mumbai and Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (NIRTAR) at Cuttack for improving geriatric health care services under the National Programme for Health Care for Elderly.

The HPCHE makes it incumbent upon the Departments of Health and Family Welfare to expand treatment facilities for chronic, terminal and degenerative diseases, and providing improved medical facilities to those not able to attend medical centres by strengthening CHCs, PHCs and mobile clinics.

Inclusion of geriatric care in the medical courses including nursing courses, reservation of beds for elderly in public hospitals and training of geriatric care givers and setting up research institutes for chronic elderly diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer are some other highlights of the NPCHE.

Govt to establish physiotherapy, rehabilitation centres in all district hospitals

The Chhattisgarh Government has been providing geriatric care in all public health facilities in the State in compliance with the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. The Act makes it mandatory to set up separate registration counter in all district hospitals across State for elderly patients, provision of yellow cards to elderly for easy access to services and ensuring free OPD, laboratory tests, diagnostics, IPD and other health care services. Geriatric Out Patient Department (GOPD) have to be set up in all district hospitals along with physiotherapy and rehabilitation centres.

While Geriatric OPD has been set up in all district hospitals in Chhattisgarh, the government is planning to establish physiotherapy and rehabilitation centres in all district hospitals and community health centres to cater to the needs of senior citizens. At present, 9 district hospitals and Community Health Centres at Raipur, Bilaspur, Jashpur, Durg, Dhamtari, Rajnandgaon, Balodabazar, Gariaband and Mungeli have physiotherapy services for the elderly.