New Delhi, Oct 1(ANI): Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today introduced various projects to mark the occasion of International Day of Older Persons in New Delhi.
Looking forward to senior citizens care, Azad dedicated a special geriatric OPD (Out Patient Department) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Speaking on the sidelines of the function, Azad said that the aim of the Central government is to ensure that there is surge in the number of senior citizens in the country.
"We have started a national programme for the senior citizens of the country and the pilot project is being started in 100 districts of 21 states. Under that programme of NHRM (National Rural Health Mission) by Central government, a 10 bed hospital will be constructed in every district and training will be given to doctors also and that hospital will only give treatment to senior citizens," he said.
The estimation of senior citizens above 60 years of age was 76.6 million as per the Census 2001 and it was merely 7.5 percent of the total population. However the government projects that the population of the senior citizens would increase to 173 million by 2026.
Better health facilities resulted in the increase in the life expectancy ratio during the past few decades, which in turn has led to an increase in the population of the senior citizens.
Azad further said that the government has taken steps to build various medical institutes in different parts of the country.
"Eight tertiary level institutes are being constructed in Chennai, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Varanasi, Guwahati, Delhi and Srinagar. These institutes will consist of OPD of 30 beds each at tertiary level. Along with OPD, new machineries will also be installed and doctors will be trained and PG (post graduate) classes will also be held there. Central government will be giving 30 crores (300 Million) each to every institute for tertiary care," he said.
International Day of Older Persons is a special day earmarked by the United Nations to spread awareness about aged people. The day recognises the contributions of senior citizens towards society and the problems that affect them. (ANI)